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Hearing to consider joint city, county proposal to expand, redesignate enterprise zones

March 19, 2012

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to consider a joint proposal by Washington County and the city of Hagerstown for the redesignation and expansion of enterprise zones in the city and county.

The hearing will take place at 4 p.m. in the City Hall council chamber at 1 E. Franklin St.

Enterprise zones in and around the city promote business and offer tax breaks for new construction and rehabilitation projects, the city’s Economic Development Manager Jill Estavillo said at a council work session earlier this month.

The zones 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, Estavillo said.

Mercantile and retail businesses also are included, but only in the city center, she said.

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

Estavillo told the five-member council that the zones would be expanded by about 2,681 acres — 299 inside the city and 2,382 outside — as part of the renewal.

City and county officials must submit an application to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) by April 15. The 10-year application would expire in Dec. 2022.

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— C.J. Lovelace

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