Industry incentives could include innovation grants, tax credits, or education and training programs.
Georgia has become a top state for the financial payment processing—financial technology, or FinTech—industry, and lawmakers may be looking at tax options to make the Peach State even friendlier to these businesses.
Currently Georgia is third in the U.S.—behind New York and California—in FinTech revenue. Here’s a look at the status of this industry’s presence in the state, per the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Metro Atlanta Chamber:
- 70 percent of U.S. financial transactions pass through Georgia.
- Georgia FinTech companies generate annual revenue of more than $72 billion.
- About 100 FinTech companies are headquartered or have significant presence in Georgia.
- In the metro Atlanta area alone, payment processing firms employ nearly 40,000 workers (as of 2011).
- The FinTech industry combines the finance, IT, and software sectors, all of which have a strong presence in Georgia, and Atlanta specifically.
So, drawing on the lessons learned about increased film business as a result of the state’s film tax credit, Georgia lawmakers met over the summer and fall to discuss industry incentives for the FinTech and payment processing industry. The joint study committee included appointees from both the Georgia House and Senate, and incentives considered were corporate innovation center grants, a FinTech industry tax credit, and education/training incentives.
Sen. Brandon Beach, chairman of the Senate Science and Technology Committee and sponsor of the resolution that created the joint study committee, told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that the state’s strong performance in FinTech has caused other states—like Texas, Florida, and North Carolina—to try and lure the companies away and that lawmakers should do everything they can to ensure the industry remains in Georgia.
This could be an issue to watch in the 2017 legislative session.