Taxes and Incentives

Taxes and Incentives

Taxes and Incentives

Cherokee County is a Tier 2 county as rated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. By locating in a Tier 2 county, your company may qualify for a number of different state incentive and grant programs. In addition, Cherokee County may provide your business with tax incentives as well as a low-cost of doing business to locate and grow your company.

The following is a summary of potential incentive programs for your company. Please contact us for more detailed incentives and tax information specific to your project.

Local Incentives

Cherokee County is a low cost community for business and industry. The County’s leadership partners with new and expanding companies to provide a tax structure and incentives to companies based on total investment, wages, workforce requirements, and other factors. Contact us to learn more about the local tax structure and incentives available to your specific project.

State Incentives

North Carolina’s targeted, performance-based incentive programs greatly lessen the tax burden and lower the overall costs, helping companies who are locating and doing business in our state to Thrive.

Companies that meet certain requirements can take advantage of tax credits and other incentives, including sales and use tax discounts, exemptions and refunds, discretionary programs and other cost-saving programs.

Tax Credits

Discretionary Programs

In North Carolina, several financial incentive programs are classified as discretionary in nature.  The staff of the Cherokee County Economic Development office will work with our state allies to provide you with a detailed incentive summary for your project as well as provide assistance throughout the application and evaluation process. Give us a call to get started!

EDP Website:

  • Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG)– Awards a limited number of cash grants directly to new and expanding businesses that will provide economic benefits to the State, and need the grant to carry out the project in North Carolina.   Grants are based on the job creation and investment commitment made by companies in their formal applications to the State prior to a location decision.  Grant funds are disbursed annually to approved companies based on a percentage of withholding taxes paid by new employees, following satisfaction of performance criteria set out in grant agreements.
  • Building Reuse Program – Provides funds to improve vacant buildings. Funding is based on the number of new jobs created as well as the average wages of those jobs.
  • One North Carolina Fund – Awards grants for job creation and/or retention in conjunction with Economic Infrastructure Program – Funding provided to help qualifying businesses gain access to needed infrastructure. Grants are based on the number of new jobs created and the average wages of those jobs.
  • SBIR/STTR Small Business Technology Funding – Awards matching funds to firms who have been awarded a SBIR/STTR Phase I award from the federal government.
  • Site and Infrastructure Grant Fund – Provides assistance for site development and infrastructure improvements for very high-impact projects.
  • Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund – Provides a limited number of grants to businesses located in Development Tier 1 or Tier 2 counties, where the business meets the requirements of a Major Employer or Large Manufacturing Employer, as those are defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143B-437.11.

Sales & Use Tax Incentives

North Carolina offers reduced rate allowances on certain parts, accessories and construction supplies for eligible industries and manufacturing processes. These include:

  • Industrial machinery and equipment is exempt from sales and use tax but is subject to an excise tax.  This rate is 1 percent with a maximum of $80 per item.
  • Parts and accessories to manufacturing machinery, which include most supplies used in the manufacturing process but not becoming a part of the manufactured product, including pollution abatement equipment, are taxed at 1 percent.
  • Purchases of ingredients or component parts of manufactured products are exempt from sales or use tax.
  • Packaging containers and items that become part of a manufactured product and are delivered with the product to the customer are exempt from sales and use tax.
  • Air courier services; Aircraft manufacturing; Bio processing; Financial services, Securities operations and related systems development; Motor vehicle manufacturing; Paper-from-pulp manufacturing; Pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing and distribution; Semiconductor manufacturing; Solar electricity generating materials manufacturing; and Turbine manufacturing companies may receive a refund of sales taxes on purchases of building materials, fixtures and equipment if the facility costs at least $50 million in Tier 1 counties and $100 million in Tier 2 and 3 counties.
  • Sales of electricity to manufacturers and farmers are exempt from sales and use tax.
  • Sales of electricity and eligible business property to an internet data center or software publishing data center business that invests at least $250 million in private funds are exempt from sales and use tax.
  • Piped natural gas is exempt from sales and use tax but is subject to an excise tax.  This tax rate is based on the number of terms of gas consumed in a month.
  • Fuel purchased by a manufacturer for use in connection with the operation of a manufacturing facility is not subject to the privilege tax.
  • Motor vehicles are exempt from sales and use tax but are subject to the highway use tax.  Highway use tax is 3 percent of the retail value of the motor vehicle with a maximum tax of $1,500 per recreational vehicle and $1,000 maximum per Class A or B motor vehicles.
  • Aircraft and boats are taxed at 3 percent with a maximum tax of $1,500 per item.
  • Computer software or digital property that becomes a component part of other computer software or digital property is exempt from sales and use tax.

Other Incentive Programs

The State of North Carolina offers a wide variety of additional cost-saving incentives to help businesses Thrive in North Carolina.

Community Development Block Grants and Industrial Development Fund  – Provides grants and loans for infrastructure development to eligible local governments.

Road Access and Rail Access Programs – Provides funds for the construction of roads and rail access to new or expanded industrial facilities.

Recycling Business Assistance Center – Provides grants, tax credits and loans to businesses involved with recycling in North Carolina. North Carolina Biotechnology Center– Provides loans and matches to help leverage larger financial awards for biotechnology companies.

Film Incentives – Provides tax credits and sales and use tax discounts to encourage film and television production in North Carolina.

The Cherokee County Economic Development staff is ready to assist you with your project and provide you with expert assistance with incentives, workforce, and locations for your new or expanding industry.   Contact us and let’s get started!

Cherokee County North Carolina Economic Development Corporation