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Business “Enterprise Zones” Expanding

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Ashland, Talent, and Eagle Point are offering incentives to draw in new businesses as part of an expansion to Jackson County’s “enterprise zones”.

Enterprise zones are part of a statewide initiative. Businesses who expand or relocate to these zones can get property tax exemptions for at least three years. Enterprise zones have been in Medford, Butte Falls, Rogue River, and White City since 2007. Ashland, Talent, and Eagle Point are the latest towns to be included.

Existing companies in those zones can apply for tax exemptions as long they are making new investments and increase payroll by at least ten percent. Those exemptions apply to those new investments for three years.

They can add on two more years if they also add new jobs totaling around $53,000 a year or more. For new businesses, all they have to do is show that they’re going to create jobs and make a capital investment.

“So it gives those businesses a slight competitive advantage over someone else located somewhere else in the United States or in the world who they compete with for their sales,” said Ron Fox, Executive Director of SOREDI.

Fox says that towns will lose out on property tax revenue on those new investments, but that revenue will increase when the exemptions expire after three years. He says they also benefit from the new jobs added to the local economy.