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Some business owners eligible for job tax credits
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Business owners in Covington's downtown district and Washington Street commercial corridor can potentially reduce their income taxes by hiring at least two full-time workers in any given year.

Owners in those two areas can learn how to apply for the job tax credits at an informational meeting at 9 a.m., Monday at the Turner Lake Community Room, hosted by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

In late June, the downtown business district and Washington Street corridor were named opportunity zones by the state, because the city of Covington submitted a proposal showing that the areas were blighted and needed revitalization.

Under the Georgia Job Tax Credit Program, businesses can receive a $3,500 tax credit per full-time job created, which can be applied to a business's income tax liability and state payroll withholding for up to five years, as long as the jobs continue to exist. The positions can experience turnover but must not be eliminated.

In order to be eligible a business must be in the opportunity zone and must hire at least two workers for newly created positions, who each must work at least 35 hours per week and make at least $21,580 per year.

The opportunity zone designation is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010, so a business can be eligible to receive tax credits if it already added two positions this year and maintained them.

If owners cannot attend the meeting, it will be rebroadcast on the Covington P.E.G. channel 20. They can also visit the department of community affair's website at