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796 new jobs in the zone
Manteca pushing to create jobs with tax credits
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Seventy-two Manteca employers have created 796 jobs since 2008 by securing roughly $29.7 million in state tax credits for hiring from specific groups of jobless individuals as part of San Joaquin County’s Enterprise Zone.

Tax credits - which are a direct dollar for dollar relief from actual state income liability – are at $546,000,000 countywide for the hiring of 14,600 qualified individuals from 900 employers who have submitted the necessary paperwork to secure the tax credits. The average tax credit for San Joaquin County employers is $37,400.

Manteca economic development staff has been pushing the program although not as aggressively as some council members such as Debby Moorhead would like to see. Tracy, by comparison has had 395 jobs created through 53 employers and Lodi 1,022 jobs through 85 employers.

The concept is to offer incentives to employers to expand by picking up half the pay cost of a qualifying new employee the first year with the percentage dropping over the next four years.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday will consider including another 34 parcels with commercial and industrial zoning in the enterprise zone to expand the Manteca enterprise zone to 2,086 acres. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The expansion includes adding empty retail space in the 200 block of North Main Street to barren industrial parcels on Airport Way.

The enterprise zone designation put in place through 2023 in recognition of high unemployment in San Joaquin County contains numerous tax incentives for businesses.

 The biggest, though, is the state tax credit for hiring “qualified” workers that can end up saving the employer $37,400 over a period of five years per qualified employee.

The tax credit is based on qualified wages paid and starts out at 50 percent of the wages in the first year, 40 percent in the second year, 30 percent in the third year 20 percent in the fourth year, and 10 percent in the fifth year.

If a qualified worker hired makes $12 an hour and is paid $24,960 for a year the business would get a $12,480 tax credit against state tax liabilities for the first year. Someone working fulltime at minimum wage hired under the tax credit loan would earn $16,640 at $8 an hour allowing the employer to save $8,320 the first year in state taxes.

Qualified employees that are hired under the program must met just one of the following criteria: reside in the enterprise zone, be a dislocated (unemployed) worker, Vietnam era veteran, disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, native American, native Samoan, native Hawaiian, disabled individual, someone eligible for CalWorks, economically disadvantaged, ex-offender, or someone who is eligible for or receives public assistance.

Employers locating in an enterprise zone can also qualify for other fairly large state tax benefits and credits:

• Up to $20,000 in a business expense deduction.

•Tax credit for sales and use taxes paid on certain machinery purchases in excess of $20 million.

•Double the net operating loss carryover which means 100 percent can now be put into another tax year.

•Lenders helping with enterprise zone investments can receive deductions on interest.

San Joaquin County - and the participating cities of Lathrop, Lodi, Manteca, and Stockton – also have agreed to reduce building permit and plan fees in the enterprise zone as well as reduce permit and variance application fees.

Employers locating in enterprise zones with 100 workers or more can also receive a utility tax rebate.

The enterprise designation will give the Airport Way corridor an effective 1-2 punch. The tax advantages tend to attract manufacturing jobs which bodes well for the Lathrop side of the corridor. Manteca has been working with investors interested in creating a 200-acre business park dubbed Center Point just outside the enterprise zone bordered by Roth Road on the north, the City of Lathrop and the Union Pacific rail-to-truck transfer year to the west and Airport Way on the east.

The location adjacent to rail and close to the rail-truck facility as well as freeway via the Highway 120 Bypass, the Stockton Airport just six miles away and the Port of Stockton makes it ideal for huge distribution centers.

The initial enterprise designation given to Stockton in 1993 is credited with attracting well over 2,000 jobs around Stockton Metro Airport.

The can be a maximum of 42 enterprise zones in the state.

Manteca’s share of the cost to administer the enterprise zone in San Joaquin County is $22,750 a year. It is covered by redevelopment agency funds.

For more information on the enterprise zone tax credits either e-mail or call 468-3615.