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Hiring tax credit program adds jobs

Expanded Enterprise Zone has resulted in a record number of job vouchers in the Santa Clarita Valley

Posted: August 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.

A series of seminars have been held to inform local businesses how they can take advantage of tax credits offered under the Enterprise Zone program. The seminars are sponsored by the city of Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. and Los Angeles County.

 

In less than three months since the Enterprise Zone was expanded valleywide, the number of businesses submitting voucher applications for hiring tax credits has jumped.


The city of Santa Clarita hit a milestone, processing 1,000 applications in 2012, representing 1,000 jobs added to the local economy, said Jessica Jackson, city communications specialist.


The 1,000th application was submitted by Valencia-based Nexus, which is a growing IT solutions company with locations in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, the South and Southeast, and is expanding locally.


Specializing in unifying communications for companies with networking, the company plans to use the Enterprise Zone to continue hiring staff and reinvesting in the company as a result of its project savings, said Rebecca Sweeney, director of human resources for the company.


“We attended one of the workshops following the approval of the expanded Enterprise Zone,” Sweeney said. “This is the first year we’ve been eligible to process vouchers.”


Companies of all sizes are eligible to receive tax credits for hiring, business expense deductions, sales and use tax credits and net operating loss carryovers. Also, lenders who lend to businesses located within the Enterprise Zone are eligible to take net interest deductions.


More than 6,342 hiring vouchers have been processed from 369 companies since the Enterprise Zone was first approved in Santa Clarita in 2007. The hiring vouchers represent more than 6,000 jobs added to the local labor market, Jackson said.


“The Enterprise Zone has been instrumental in helping businesses hire staff, expand and grow,” said Jason Crawford, marketing and economic development manager for the city. “The fact that Santa Clarita businesses have added 1,000 new positions this year alone is big news. And now with the expanded zone, businesses throughout our community are taking advantage of the program.”


Since the expansion of the Enterprise Zone program was approved in April of this year, 165 of the total hiring tax credits vouchers received this year have been from companies in the unincorporated area of Santa Clarita, said Jonas Peterson, president and CEO of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp.


“Our local businesses are very encouraged by potential program benefits and are eager to start saving money on their state taxes and reinvesting in staff,” Peterson said. “We are working alongside the city and Los Angeles County to reach out to companies, helping them understand the program, its benefits and just how easy it can be to take advantage of its valuable tax savings.”


The expanded zone includes commercially zoned areas both within the city limits and unincorporated areas of Santa Clarita. Previously, the tax credits were only available to businesses located in the city. Companies are eligible to apply for credits dating back to January 2011.


“We are currently hiring more than 80 positions and expect to continue as we grow and expand,” Sweeney said. “The Enterprise Zone is great and will help our company grow and continue to strengthen the community.”


Only 42 Enterprise Zones are allowed under the program created by the state in 1984 to stimulate growth, development and investment areas. Each designated zone remains active for 15 years but in the face of growing budget deficits, state lawmakers have threatened to stop the program in the past.


The Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone program is in effect until Jan. 1, 2026. More information about the program can be found at SCVEnterpriseZone.com.

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