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The Next Round of New Zone Designations

Pending legislation notwithstanding, two Enterprise Zones are scheduled to expire in 2010, Lindsay and Shafter.  Another two, Antelope Valley and Watasonville, will be expiring in early 2012.  After that, there will not be another opportunity to apply for a new zone designation until the Stanislaus County EZ expires in 2020.

The City of Lindsay is already included in the new Tulare County Enterprise Zone, so we won’t see them as part of the competition.  But we are already starting to see prospective zones gearing up.

Of course, there are the 10 applicants who were not winners in 2009.  The San Fernando Business Journal is reporting that the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale are are already preparing their applicaion for 2012.  And in the Victor Valley Daily Press there is this story about high hopes:

A regional economic development group is looking to follow the city of Hesperia’s example by possibly getting a huge portion of the Victor Valley declared an Enterprise Zone.

The designation would create a number of significant tax incentives to help lure businesses to the region.

“An enterprise zone is a very effective economic development tool,” said David Zook, chief of staff for 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. “It gives a company looking to locate a facility tremendous incentives to locate there.”

Among those incentives are generous tax credits for hiring new employees and substantial sales tax credits on new equipment, so a business such as Dr Pepper Snapple Group could get a break on the pricey bottling equipment that’s being rolled into its coming plant at this moment.

Mitzelfelt chairs the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority, charged with overseeing the revitalization of 10,500 local acres impacted by the closure of George Air Force Base in 1992. VVEDA’s project area includes almost all of Victorville, large chunks of Adelanto and Apple Valley, a portion of Hesperia and patches of unincorporated San Bernardino County scattered across the Victor Valley.

VVEDA’s board this month approved paying some $9,000 for a consultant to study the feasibility of a VVEDA Enterprise Zone. Zook said the results are due back in November.

If the group is successful, the Victor Valley’s enterprise zone designation will last for 15 years.

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