Monday, December 20, 2010

County Awarded Two State Enterprise Zones





Los Angeles County Community Development Commission



For Immediate Release


Contact:  Elisa Vásquez, County CDC, 323-890-7415





Businesses and Residents to Benefit from State Tax Credit Program


December 20, 2010 – Last week, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announced the conditional designation of two Enterprise Zones - the Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone and the Harbor Gateway Communities Enterprise Zone.  The Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone is a partnership between the County of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Clarita.  The Harbor Gateway Communities Enterprise Zone is a partnership between the County of Los Angeles and the Cities of Los Angeles and Huntington Park.  The County’s Community Development Commission provided expertise from past successful applications and the ability to create partnerships with other County departments, political jurisdictions, business groups, and non-profit organizations to win two out of the three zone designations available.

The California Enterprise Zone Program targets economically distressed areas using special state and local incentives to promote business investment and job creation.  By encouraging entrepreneurship and employer growth, the program strives to create and sustain economic expansion in California communities.  The Enterprise Zone program is one of California’s largest and most successful economic development tools.

            In announcing the conditional designations, HCD Director Lynn L. Jacobs said, "The Schwarzenegger Administration has approved 36 Enterprise Zones in the last 4 years, the first new designations in the program since it was started in 1986.  This program is vital in being able to compete in the global market to attract and retain businesses in California, while at the same time increasing the number of jobs with state and local incentives."

The new designations will take the place of the zones set out in statute which expired in 2010.  Each zone designation is in effect for 15 years.  Businesses within Enterprise Zones are eligible for substantial tax credits and benefits.  For example, firms can earn $37,440 or more in state tax credits for each qualified employee hired and corporations can earn sales tax credits on purchases of $20 million per year of qualified machinery and machinery parts.

Sean Rogan, Executive Director of the CDC stated, “Enterprise Zone designation brings tax credits to businesses in the zone that hire local workers.  It is a win-win for businesses and residents because it helps businesses lower the cost of doing business and makes local residents more valuable to their employers.”

            The next step in the designation process will be the HCD issuance of a conditional designation letter to each of the new zones.  The letters will outline conditions which must be met to be granted final designation.  Examples of conditions include a signed memorandum of understanding with HCD, which includes performance measures and benchmarks.


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