Designation to offer businesses tax credits

County to become enhanced enterprise zone

Moffat County businesses meeting certain requirements will soon be eligible to receive tax credits designed to stimulate economic development and growth.

Last week, the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado was informed that Moffat County would be designated as an enhanced rural enterprise zone for 2007 and 2008. The enhanced enterprise zone label essentially offers financial incentives to businesses that create jobs in areas lacking economic development.

"It's there to encourage more hiring," said Aron Diaz, executive director and enterprise zone administrator of the AGNC. "Hopefully, businesses will hire more people. ... These credits are geared toward spurring economic development."

Under the enterprise zone, businesses that create new jobs in an enhanced zone are eligible for a $2,500 tax credit per new employee. The tax credit applies to new businesses and existing businesses that grow by 10 new employees or 10 percent from the previous year, Diaz said.

Diaz said the tax credits were designed to encourage new hirings, business development and tax relief, which will allow businesses to reinvest the money back into their companies.

To qualify for an enhanced enterprise zone, counties must meet at least two of five criteria.

Those five requirements are: unemployment rate more than 50 percent of the state average, total non-residential assessed value ranking in lower half of all counties, county population less than 5,000 residents, per capita income less than 75 percent of the state average, and population growth rate less than 25 percent of the state average.

Moffat County, which was already listed as an enterprise zone, met the latter two requirements, Diaz said.

The enhanced rural enterprise zone for Moffat County takes effect Jan. 1.

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