California Enterprise Zones Face Uncertain Future


Last week the California State Senate passed a proposal to overhaul California’s enterprise zones after Senate Democrats negotiated a series of last-minute amendments to mollify resistant lawmakers.

The legislation, a priority of Gov. Jerry Brown, now faces an uncertain future in the Assembly. Brown and labor groups have said the enterprise zone program is “wasteful and ineffective.”

The proposed change of the enterprise zone program, which has provided employers in locally designated areas large tax breaks for years, would largely retain those areas’ geographic boundaries but with significantly scaled back hiring credits.

According to the Senate’s Democratic leadership, amendments made Tuesday would extend to 10 years from five years a carry-forward provision for existing enterprise zone hiring credits. The changes would also extend a sunset on other parts of the program to seven years from five years or less, and they would make ex-criminals eligible for hiring credits.

The proposal would provide hiring credits only to employers paying at least 150 percent of the minimum wage. With the exception of qualified small businesses, it would exclude temporary worker agencies, retailers, restaurants and bars.

Sacramento Bee: California state Senate passes enterprise zone overhaul

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