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Hagerstown officials want to renew and expand enterprise zones

The areas provide eligibility for income tax credits for job creation in several types of businesses

March 07, 2012

Working in conjunction with Washington County, Hagerstown officials want to renew and expand enterprise zones in and around the city to promote business and offer tax breaks for new construction and rehabilitation projects.

The zones also provide eligibility for income tax credits for job creation in several types of businesses, including manufacturing, warehouses, research and development, corporate or regional offices and service industries. Mercantile and retail businesses also are included, but only in the city center.

Economic Development Manager Jill Estavillo presented the proposed renewal to the Hagerstown City Council during a work session this week. She asked the five-member council for permission to advertise the proposal in time for a public hearing that would take place March 20.

The proposal would expand boundaries of the zones by about 300 acres inside the city and almost 2,500 acres outside the city, including areas in the city center, east end, rail corridors and an additional plot in the west end of the city that connects other existing areas.

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“We think that the enterprise zone incentive would help to foster new investment,” Estavillo said.

A special session would be required April 3 to adopt the renewal to meet the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s April 15 deadline, Estavillo said.

The 10-year enterprise zone renewal would be effective until Dec. 14, 2022. The zones originally were designated in 1992 and renewed in 2002.

— C.J. Lovelace

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