We’re ranked 1st in the U.S. for incentive programs, with no state property taxes, a range of enticing tax credits and opportunity zones in desirable locations from mixed-use sites in the city center to interstate-adjacent tracts in the suburbs.

Tax Credits

Companies choosing our city benefit from some of the most beneficial tax rates and incentive options in the nation, including:

  • One of the lowest corporate tax rates in the southeast at 5%
  • Multiple tax credits that offset corporate tax liability such as job tax credits, research and development credits, corporate HQ credits and more
  • No inventory tax
  • Sales tax exemptions for technology-intensive materials
  • No state property tax
  • Local property tax exemptions
  • Property tax incentives
  • State job training credits


Growth incentives area investment into the economic future of our City. They must be targeted towards the needs of business and local developments that will support the surrounding communities by way of capital investment, job creation, infrastructure improvements, and amenities to support public needs. The City of Columbia offers a variety of programs and assistance to support business and community growth.

Property Taxes

In South Carolina, property taxes are levied at the local level, and a company’s tax liability is a function of the property value, assessment ratio, and millage. Property tax exemptions called an abatement can be made available to manufacturing, research/development, corporate headquarters, office, and distribution facilities meeting certain requirements. Property tax incentives can be offered at the discretion of local governments, and companies may be able to negotiate a Fee-in-Lieu (FILOT) or property taxes, which can reduce their liability.

Commercial Development

To encourage growth in taxable, commercial development, the City of Columbia and Richland County have partnered to offer a tax incentive for mixed-use development projects creating $30 million or more in taxable development to help offset the costs of associated public infrastructure costs such as traffic or right-of-way improvements, utility relocations and structured parking.


Economic development grants can be used to provide funding to eligible projects based on job creation, capital investment and targeted industry types. Funding is limited and discretionary, and determinations are made on a case-by-case basis.

Loans/Forgivable Loans

The City of Columbia works to increase job creation and retention by supporting small business development and entrepreneurship with loan programs such as our Commercial Revolving Loan Fund and Commercial Retention & Redevelopment Forgivable Loans. For more information, please visit the Office of Business Opportunities.

Tax Credits and Incentives


one of the lowest tax rates in the southeast


inventory and state property tax


capital gains tax exemption for opportunity zone investments of 10+ yrs


state for incentive programs

Workforce Development

Through a partnership between the State of South Carolina and the SC Technical College System, there are highly renowned programs that can help recruit and train talent to meet the needs of any company.

Opportunity Zones

With 8 zones in the city, businesses, investors and developers will find properties that range from the east coast’s largest downtown redevelopment project to commercial buildings and acreage with easy access to interstates.

Opportunity Zone Benefits
Investor benefits include these capital gains tax reductions: