California’s enterprise zone (EZ) program offers the state’s largest, most significant economic development tax incentives, broadly applying to businesses of all sizes across virtually all industry sectors. Established in 1984, the EZ program offers a variety of tax credits and incentives to encourage businesses to locate, invest and create jobs in economically distressed communities within the state. Current law allows for 42 enterprise zones. Communities apply for and receive EZ designations from the state through a competitive process. Both businesses and employees are eligible for benefits under the program, including: Hiring credits, Equipment credits, net operating loss deductions, tax deductions, and preference points.

California’s EZ program not only breathes economic life into distressed areas, it also helps California compete for jobs with other states and countries. The program also is one of the only remaining statewide tax incentives that locals can use to compete and lure more jobs to their community.

So it is somewhat surprising to learn that this program – one of the few in the state that is meant to help businesses – is under attack by the California Labor Federation.

Several bills have already been introduced in the Legislature that would negatively impact the Enterprise Zones.  Additionally, a regulatory package currently being promulgated at the Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) would gut the program and has raised concerns.

We support Enterprise Zones and are working with a broad coalition to protect this important business development and retention tool (some of your buildings may be in an Enterprise Zone – what will happen to your tenants if the incentives evaporate?).  Click here for more information.

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