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Governor’s May Revise Proposal on Enterprise Zones (Part 1)

Not all of the details are available yet, only a summary document has been released. Page 68 of that document summarizes the Governor’s proposal for the Enterprise Zones:

The May Revision proposes to modernize the state’s job creation and economic development incentives. Created over 25 years ago, the Enterprise Zone program should be reshaped to meet the needs of the current economy. In its current form, it fails to encourage the creation of new jobs and instead rewards moving jobs from one place to another within the state. Additionally, the New Jobs Hiring Credit created in 2009 has not been effective at stimulating job growth. The May Revision aims to strengthen both of these programs to bolster California’s business environment and reintegrate people into the workforce.

The hiring credit will be refocused to specific areas with high unemployment and poverty rates. This credit will be available for the hiring of long-term unemployed workers, unemployed veterans, and people receiving public assistance. The Enterprise Zone sales tax program will be expanded to a statewide, upfront sales tax exemption for manufacturing or biotech research and development equipment purchases. Finally, the California Competes Recruitment and Retention Fund will be created, to be administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). GO-Biz will negotiate agreements to provide businesses tax credits in exchange for investments and employment expansion in California.

The proposal is revenue neutral and focuses on improving the performance of those dollars already spent. It will allow California to be more effective at stimulating economic growth and creating new jobs. The program will be designed to ensure that small businesses are able to easily obtain the manufacturing sales tax exemption, and will dedicate a portion of the hiring credit and the incentive fund solely to small businesses.

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