The program is similar to ones generally used by joint development authorities and hopes to draw funds from local private companies into JDA coffers to be redistributed as incentives to potential new businesses.
“The private money would be invested in the initiative so that they would have a resource of money that they could pull from so they could offer maybe incentives to companies that are looking at coming to the area,” said Walker County economic development director Larry Brooks.
Local other development authorities, including those in Whitfield County and in Chattanooga, have also used this tactic, according to Brooks. In addition, the local Walker County development authority has similarly been redistributing non-taxpayer money in incentives, he said.
“It’s actually something that the Walker County development authority has done for...probably the last two years or three years,” he said. “We take monies that are coming into our development authority that are not taxpayer money...we take that money and we put it back into economic development initiatives.
“It’s like the engineering work that we’ve done on the Swanson property up there, that money has come from different sources that are not taxpayer-funded,” said Brooks.
In the Walker County development authority, many of the non-taxpayer monies are coming from transaction and other fees.
Brooks stated that although the WCDA and the NWGJDA roles are very different, the latter is hoping to become more proactive in bringing business deals to the table.
“Our role in economic development is a bit different than the JDA,” said Brooks. “The JDA is responsible for marketing. Our role as a development authority is to put the deals together.
“They’re trying to find a way to raise additional money so they can lend a greater hand in reaching out and helping out in attracting more development to the area.”
For more information, contact the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority at (706) 375 – 5793 or email email@example.com.