It is no secret Habersham County desperately needs a new hotel. For at least a decade or more this has been a priority for our community. The lack of a hotel in Stephens County further compounds our limited supply of rooms often forcing guest to spend the night in Banks, Hall and White counties or further away.
The Habersham County Commission recently passed its portion of a potential tax abatement to allow a developer to build a new high-end hotel in Habersham County. In the meeting Commissioner Dustin Mealor said, “This is a logical step forward for purposeful growth.”
Now the project will have to go before the city of Cornelia and The Habersham County School System. The potential 80-room upscale hotel will be located adjacent Highway 365 in Cornelia.
An important note is with the proposed tax abatement, the developer will still pay the taxes on land. Currently the taxes on the undeveloped land are $2,700. Under the proposed agreement, the new owners would pay around $2,800 for the first five years, with the number going up by four times the sixth year. And the upscale hotel will serve as an anchor to generate more economic activity.
Having a top-flight hotel with meeting space and a full restaurant will not just be one move in an isolated box. That facility will lead to more tourism, the hosting of conventions, athletic tournaments, help local industry and businesses have a place for their guest to stay locally and help our two local colleges.
And all of this brings more sales tax money into our community.
You cannot lose what you never had, and in this case, offering the incentive creates other revenue streams for the county that also will not exist without this kind of lodging facility.
We applaud the Habersham County Development Authority and Partnership Habersham for their leadership on this project. We also appreciate the vote of approval from the county commission.
Habersham County, this is a great opportunity for us.
Onward and upward!