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The 2008 Race For 8

My prediction is that there is going to be a much higher degree of competition for the 8 Enterprise Zone slots that are available for designation in 2008 than there was for the 23 slots in 2006. Even if there are only two applications for each slot, that is still an entirely different dynamic than was faced by applicants in the last round. Attendance at the upcoming HCD workshops will be an interesting indicator of how large the pool might be, but other indicators are already starting to appear. For example this article from The Salinas Californian in which the Enterprise Zone program is describes as a major policy initiative in the Mayor’s State of the City address:

Besides touting his ongoing “Peace, Prosperity, Image” campaign, the mayor reiterated plans to work with other municipalities in the Salinas Valley as well as cities on the broader Central Coast.

That includes a plan to coordinate with Gonzales, Greenfield, King City and Soledad and apply to become a state enterprise zone. The designation provides tax credits and other financial incentives that can stimulate investment in economically underserved areas.

The state will only make eight such designations this year, down from more than 20 in 2006. California now has 42 enterprise zones.

“The economic interests of Salinas spread throughout the Salinas Valley,” Donohue said. “It only makes sense for the five cities to work together.”

I first reported on Mayor Donohue’s interest in the Enterprise Zone back in March.

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