Description
  

Background. The Florida Enterprise Zone (FEZ) Tax Incentive Program was established by the State of Florida in 1982. The Florida Enterprise Zone Act of 1994 made significant changes to the program. This act was based primarily on the federal government's Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities programs. There are 59 enterprise zones statewide (30 rural and 29 urban), which are areas targeted for economic revitalization. This program offers tax incentives to businesses located in designated FEZ areas of urban and rural communities to encourage private investment and increase employment opportunities for the area's residents.

 The FEZ Program in Palm Beach County was formally established in May 1995 for a 10-year period. In 2005, the Florida Legislature extended the Enterprise Zone Program for another ten years and provided existing enterprise zones an opportunity to have their zones redesignated with boundary amendments. This state program offers eight different tax incentives and it is designed to assist and support: (a) new and existing businesses contemplating relocation to or establishing a new facility in an Enterprise Zone, and (b) local existing businesses in the County planning an expansion.

The 2011 Florida Legislature enacted Committee Substitute for House Bill 143, Chapter 2011-076, Laws of Florida, which provides Palm Beach County and the City of Pahokee with an opportunity to apply for an Enterprise Zone Boundary Amendment request.

The governing body of a jurisdiction which has nominated an application for an enterprise zone that is no larger than 12 square miles and includes a portion of the state designated as a rural area of critical economic concern under s. 288.0656(7) may apply to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Division of Strategic Business Development to expand the boundary of the enterprise zone by not more than 3 square miles.

 (rev. March 2012)

  

Application Process. Enterprise Zone application forms are available from the participating municipalities and the Palm Beach County Department of Economic Sustainability. A business is advised to contact the applicable Enterprise Zone Coordinator to obtain the appropriate application forms and required written verification from the Coordinator as to the business location and employees' addresses. A Coordinator must sign and return the original application to a business within 10 days of receipt and retain a copy. The applicant (business) will also retain a copy and forward the completed original application to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Governor’s Department of Economic Opportunity, Division of Strategic Business Development (DEO) administers the Florida Enterprise Zone Program. DEO is responsible for overseeing the activities of the local enterprise zones and providing them with technical assistance and information. DEO has been authorized by the Florida Legislature to review and approve eligible enterprise zone application packages. DEO receives progress reports from local enterprise zones as well as reports from the Florida Department of Revenue and prepares an Annual Report to the Governor and the Florida Legislature.

Enterprise Florida, Inc. plays an important role in marketing the Enterprise Zone Program to existing businesses within a zone or to those who are looking to locate in a zone. Enterprise Florida has also taken active roles in proposing Legislation that will improve the program and enhance the economy of Florida as a whole. Enterprise Florida, Inc. works with DEO in developing zone approval guidelines and determining which communities would qualify for a zone designation.

Enterprise Zone Development Agency governs an enterprise zone at the local level. This agency oversees the implementation of the strategic plan and makes important decisions concerning the zone. The Enterprise Zone Development Agency also appoints a local enterprise zone coordinator that maintains the day-to-day operations of the zone. This key contact for the zone answers questions and distributes materials to businesses, DEO, and the local government. The local coordinator is responsible for verifying enterprise zone addresses. All tax incentive applications must be certified at a local office before the applications are sent to the Florida Department of Revenue to be processed.

Florida Department of Revenue is responsible for processing all enterprise zone tax incentive applications. Representatives from the Department of Revenue provide technical assistance on the eligibility requirements to businesses and to local enterprise zone coordinators.

(rev. 4-03-12)

  

Tax Benefits Summary: The forms for the following incentives are under Tax Forms.

1. Jobs Tax Credit - Sales Tax. Allows a business located within an Urban Enterprise Zone (EZ) to take a sales and use tax credit for 20 or 30 percent of wages paid to new employees who reside within an EZ. To be eligible, a business must create at least one new job. The Sales Tax Credit cannot be used in conjunction with the Corporate Tax Jobs Credit.

2. Jobs Tax Credit - Corporate Income Tax. Allows a business located within an Urban EZ to take a corporate income tax credit for 15 or 20 percent of wages paid to new employees who reside within an EZ. The Corporate Tax Credit cannot be used in conjunction with the Sales Tax Credit.

3. Business Equipment - Sales Tax Refund. A refund is available for sales taxes paid on the purchase of certain business property, which is used exclusively in an EZ for at least three years.

4. Building Materials - Sales Tax Refund. A refund is available for sales taxes paid on the purchase of building materials used to rehabilitate real property within an EZ.

5. Property Tax Credit - Corporate Income Tax. New or expanded businesses located within an EZ are allowed a credit against Florida corporate income tax equal to 96% of ad valorem taxes paid on the new or improved property.

6. Electrical Energy - Sales Tax Exemption. A 50% sales tax exemption is available to qualified businesses located within an EZ on the purchase of electrical energy, if the municipality has reduced the municipal utility tax by at least 50%.

7. Community Contribution - Tax Credit Program. Allows businesses a 50% credit on Florida corporate income tax, insurance premium tax, or sales tax refund for donations made to local community development projects. Businesses are not required to be located in an EZ to be eligible for this credit.

8. Child Care Facility - Ad Valorem Property Tax Exemption. Child care facility includes any child care center or child care arrangement which provides child care for more than five children unrelated to the operator and which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, wherever operated, and whether or not operated for profit. A child care facility must file an application each year with the governing body having jurisdiction over the EZ. Any real estate used and owned as a child care facility as defined in s. 402.302 FS, which operates in an EZ pursuant to chapter 290 is exempt from taxation.

(rev. 7-14-03)

  

Enterprise Zone Tax Forms are available from the Florida Department of Revenue.

INCENTIVESFORMS
Jobs Tax Credit - Sales TaxDR-15ZC & DR-15CS
Jobs Tax Credit - Corporate Income TaxF-1156Z & F-1120
Business Equipment - Sales Tax RefundEZ-E & DR-26S
Building Materials - Sales Tax RefundEZ-M & DR-26S
Property Tax Credit - Corporate Income TaxF-1158Z & DR-456 & F-1120
Electrical Energy - Sales Tax ExemptionDR-15JEZ
Community Contribution - Tax Credit Program8E-17TCA#01
Child Care Facility - Property Tax Exemption
(Ad Valorem)
DR-418E &
  

FAQ [External Link]

  

Enterprise Zone Boundaries. The County and each of the five cities have a designated Enterprise Zone Coordinator who can assist a business in verifying whether a business site is within a zone by viewing the below identified maps. Business site location can also be graphically identified at www.mapquest.com.

Belle Glade
Pahokee
South Bay
Riviera Beach / West Palm Beach
Enterprise Zone Program - Florida
Municipal Boundaries         

rev. 1/22/13

  

A) Governing Body: PBC Board of County Commissioners

PBC Enterprise Zone Coordinators Other County & State Organizations
Palm Beach County
Pam Nolan, Econ. Dev. Specialist
PBC Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability
561-233-3678
fax 656-7546
pnolan@pbcgov.org
Workforce Alliance, Inc.
Belle Glade - Charles Duval
Account Manager
561-829-2040, ext. 2107
cduval@pbcalliance.com

Belle Glade
Phillip Rincon, Asst. Grants Coordinator
princon@belleglade-fl.com

561-992-1607
561-992-1613

Florida Department of Revenue
Taxpayer Service Center
West Palm Beach
561-640-6152
Riviera Beach
 Terrence Bailey
561-845-4060
Florida Department of Revenue
Taxpayer Assistance
Tallahassee
850-488-6800
South Bay
Leondrae Camel
561-996-6751
 
Florida Department of Revenue
Refunds & Distributions
Tallahassee
850-488-8937
West Palm Beach
Alan Durham
561-822-1404
Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Division of Strategic Business Development, Tallahassee
Burt C. Von Hoff, 850-717-8518
burt.vonhoff@deo.myflorida.com

B) Governing Body: City of Pahokee

PAHOKEE Enterprise Zone Coordinator Other County & State Organizations
Pahokee

 Chandler Williamson, City Mgr.
561-924-5534
Same as above