In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rock Hill Economic Development has compiled a list of resources to help businesses get the assistance and information they need.  Click Here


Rock Hill Incentives

Development/Growth Management Incentives

The City of Rock Hill has undertaken several initiatives to encourage development within certain strategic areas of the city.  The offering of financial incentives for urban in-fill projects will encourage new projects into these areas.  A suitable mix of projects, in turn, could serve as catalysts for additional investment in these critical areas.

Rock Hill has shown success in attracting industrial and commercial employment uses, despite many competitive obstacles.  The biggest obstacle is South Carolina's disproportionately high property tax assessment for manufacturing and commercial properties.  Manufacturing property in South Carolina is assessed at 10.5% of fair market value, more than 2.5 times the rate of single family housing and almost twice the rate of commercial development.  In comparison, North Carolina taxes all properties at a uniform rate.

Impact fees are one tool created to manage growth.  While zoning and other tools should be considered to accomplish growth management goals, financial incentives provide the most immediate and direct enticement to offset the effect of impact fee collection and foster in-fill development. 

Financial Incentives

Financial incentives shall be primarily allocated to new construction or to redevelopment projects which do not substantially benefit from impact fee redevelopment credits. 

Incentives may be used to offset the following expenses:

  1. Impact Fees
  2. Water/Sewer Meter Set Fees
  3. Building Permit Fees

Incentive Eligibility

  1. All GMI applications shall be considered for approval or denial by City Council.
  2. Targeted Areas:  GMI incentives should be limited to specific areas of the city and should be used primarily to attract development into areas with redevelopment plans in place.  These areas are to include the following:
    1. The Old Town area and other urban core areas with Focal Point Plans or Master Plans.
    2. Business Parks which follow quality development standards and restrictive covenants.
    3. Designated Opportunity Zones which include U.S. Census tracts 45091060501, 45091060401, 45091060300 and 45091060200.
  3. Targeted Land Uses: New industrial, commercial, and even residential projects suitable for incentives which meet the goals of the City-conducted studies of that area are eligible.  City staff has developed a list of appropriate uses which will be recommended for approval and a list of uses which will be recommended to be denied for financial assistance.

Learn more about the full Growth Management Incentive (GMI)


Facade Rehabilitation Grant Program

The Facade Rehabilitation Grant Program is designed to improve the appearance of historic buildings, stimulate private investment in these structures, and make Old Town more attractive to business activity. The program makes available grants to rehabilitate or restore the facades of qualifying structures with a commercial use. Owners may receive up to 25% of the cost of facade renovations not to exceed $20,000. Corner buildings or buildings with rear facades are eligible to apply for up to 25% of the cost of the additional renovations not to exceed $15,000 to rehabilitate or restore qualifying additional facades on a first come first serve basis.  For buildings or properties that request funding for improvements that will exceed these guidelines, the Rock Hill City Council may, at its sole discretion, appropriate additional funding on a case by case basis.

Review the full Facade Rehabilitation Grant Program policies online.

Tax Increment Financing

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a tool municipalities can use to finance municipally-owned public improvements such as streets, sidewalks, utilities, landscaping, parks, public buildings, and transit facilities within designated redevelopment areas. Within designated TIF districts, incremental or new tax revenues are dedicated to funding public improvements over a set period of time after paying off previously-issued TIF debt or bonds.

The City of Rock Hill has three active Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Districts: Textile Corridor, Downtown, and Red River/Riverwalk. Tax revenues generated in each district help fund capital projects within that district. In FY15, over $2 million in revenues were generated in the City’s TIF districts. Anticipated revenues from TIF Districts were provided by the City’s Economic and Urban Development Department (it should be noted that revenues are highly variable).

The University Center development in Knowledge Park is being financed in part by TIF.  LEARN MORE

Tax Credits

Where appropriate, the City of Rock Hill will work with developers to access federal and/or state tax credits associated with historic buildings, the use of former textile industry buildings, affordable housing, and investment in low-to-moderate income census tracts.  The tax credits can be used to attract equity funds needed for (re)development activities.

Talent Attraction & Identification

The City of Rock Hill is committed to helping you find the talent you need through our website and our Talent Pipeline Program.

One reason that firms locate their company to an area is a ready to work workforce. As innovative businesses continue to grow in Rock Hill, there is an increasing need for skilled, qualified employees. 

In response, Rock Hill Economic Development developed a website exclusively for businesses and workers in the Rock Hill area designed to connect local knowledge economy jobs with qualified talent. We were able to reach outbound talent through a multi-faceted marketing campaign that directed candidates to our award-winning jobs website (Gold Award – 2017 IEDC Conference) to post resumes and explore knowledge economy positions available with successful companies in their own community.


For additional information on contact Liam Kyle 803-326-3817 or email

The Talent Pipeline Program

The Talent Pipeline Program was conceived as part of a second year South Carolina Innovation Challenge Grant which was awarded to the Knowledge Park collaborating partners, including the Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation, the City of Rock Hill, Winthrop University, York Technical College and Rock Hill Schools.  The program was initially designed to utilize grant funds to pay one half the cost of a college student intern, employed by local technology companies.

The program has now expanded to include an array of companies where local college students, primarily from Winthrop University and York Technical College, are encouraged to submit resumes to match with the internship job descriptions.  When an intern and a company are matched up, the intern is paid $10 per hour for up to 20 hours of work per week.  The Talent Pipeline then reimburses the company $5 for each hour an intern works.  If a company has found a good fit with a particular college intern, they are free to hire that person at the end of the internship period.  The original grant funds for the program were exhausted as of June 30, 2016, but have continued through a grant from Wells Fargo. 

For additional information on the Talent Pipeline Program contact Frank Keel at 803-326-3834 or

York County Incentives

To offset local property tax liability, a qualifying company locating to York County, may take advantage of one of two local incentive programs.

Property Tax Abatement

  • PTA is a statutory incentive that allows for companies to abate the operating portion of property taxes for five years on new investment.  Estimated savings equal approximately 20 to 25% annually, over a five year period.

    • The investment must be greater than $50,000 in new capital expenditure in one year.

    • Companies must be involved in manufacturing, R&D, corporate headquarters or distribution/warehouse operations.  If other than manufacturing and R&D, there must be at least 75 new jobs created.

    • The Company files return PT-300 to SC Department of Revenue; deduction is automatic.

Fee-in-Lieu of Property Tax Agreement

  • Fee-in-Lieu is a negotiated agreement that can provide long-term benefit to a qualified company while insulating the firm from annual property tax increases. This value amounts to up to a 42% reduction in property taxes annually for 20 to 30 years.  Additional savings may be achieved for qualifying companies.

    • The company’s project must be competitive with other locations and the firm must be a manufacturer, warehouse/distribution, or an office/headquarter operation.

    • Qualified company must commit to a minimum of $2.5 million investment over a five year period to be eligible.

    • Manufacturers can benefit from a lowering of a 10.5 percent assessment ratio to as low as 6 percent on real and personal property. Warehouse/distribution and office operations can benefit from a reduction of an assessment of 10.5 percent to as low as 6 percent on personal property.

    • A bond/incentive attorney must prepare legal documents for review and final submission to York County Council for final approval.  The process for full approval by York County Council is approximately eight weeks once negotiated terms have been reached.

Property Tax Exemptions

  • Property tax exemptions are offered on inventories, intangibles, pollution control equipment.

Industrial Revenue Bonds

  • A low cost means to finance a new or expanding operation which can be used to acquire land, construct buildings, improve real property and acquire new machinery.

  • Maximum bond issuance is $10 million. Investment cannot exceed $20 million in expenditures over 3+/- years.

South Carolina Incentives

South Carolina looks to incentivize both new and expanding businesses when jobs and/or capital investment occurs.  Programs are either statutory or discretionary in nature.  Discretionary programs are negotiated and in some cases have established time periods required for capital expenditures and/or job goals to be achieved.

Jobs Tax Credit

  • A benefit to companies for job creation that helps reduce state corporate income tax liability, up to 50 percent in a given year.  Program allows for 15 year carry forward of unused credits.

  • An annual average monthly employment increase of 10 or more new full-time jobs must be created in order to be eligible and the company must be involved in manufacturing, processing, warehousing, distribution, tourism, be considered a corporate office facility, bank or qualified technology intensive facility.

  • Credit of $1,500 annually for five years for each new job. Credit increases to $2,500 per job with Multi-County Business Park status.

  • Qualified small businesses (a firm employing 99 or fewer employees) can receive a credit benefit from this program but value of credit may vary depending upon certain performance criteria.

Investment Tax Credit

  • Manufacturers can take a one-time negotiated credit against their corporate income tax of up to 2.5 percent of a company’s investment in new production equipment.  Value of credit varies depending upon the recovery period for property under Internal Revenue Code. Can be used to offset up to 100% of corporate income tax liability with unused credits carrying forward for up to 10 years.

Corporate Headquarters Tax Credit

  • A credit against state corporate income tax, or corporate license tax based on adding or growing an existing corporate headquarters.

  • Credit is equal to 20 percent of the qualifying costs for establishing or expanding a corporate headquarters.  Unused credits can have a 10 year carry forward.

  • To qualify a corporate headquarter operation must meet certain investment and/or job thresholds.

Research and Development Tax Credit

  • A credit against state corporate income tax, or corporate license tax based on a firm making qualified research and development expenditures.

  • Credit equal to 5 percent of expenditures is available; credit is limited to offset 50% of income tax liability after all other tax credits have been applied. 

Job Development Credit

  • A discretionary performance based incentive from the state that rebates a portion of a new employees’ state withholding tax back to the company.  Requires approval by the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development and applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Eligible companies must meet specific requirements per the program guidelines and a non-refundable application fee of $4,000 must be paid.

  • Approved companies can receive a percentage of each eligible individual employee’s personal income tax returned to them as a cash rebate in either quarterly or annual payments. Depending on salary values, this could be as much as 4 percent of annual payroll. 

Sales Tax Exemptions / Caps


  • Machinery and equipment for both research and development and production

  • Repair parts

  • Materials which will become an integral part of the finished product

  • Manufacturing of electricity

  • Pollution control

All Industries

  • Packaging Materials

  • Long Distance Telecommunications, including 800 service

Tax and Incentive Documents

Local Business Incentives
South Carolina Business Incentives
State and Local Business Taxes

Documents provided by York County Economic Development.



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