The state will expand zones in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and on the Eastern Shore where businesses are eligible for tax credits for making property improvements and hiring new workers.
Maryland will add 112 acres to the Enterprise Zone in the city and more than 500 acres to the Cambridge-Dorchester County zone. The state also approved a 395-acre zone around Woodlawn.
“The expansion of the zones in Baltimore and Cambridge-Dorchester County, and the addition of a new zone in Woodlawn will help spur redevelopment in commercial and industrial areas of our state so they can compete and win in the new economy,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said Friday in a written statement.
Businesses located in most of the zones are eligible for $1,000 income tax credits for new workers and $6,000 over three years for hiring economically disadvantaged employees. Local real property tax credits for capital improvements are 80 percent for the first five years, then decrease to 30 percent by year 10.
Baltimore City and Prince George’s County zones offer greater benefits. Local real property and personal property tax credits stay at 80 percent for 10 years and do not decline, as in other jurisdictions. And new employee income tax credits are $1,500, and $9,000 for economically disadvantaged workers.
The State Department of Assessments and Taxation estimates that the Maryland’s Enterprise Zone program will dole out $38.1 million in property tax credits this fiscal year.
The Baltimore zone expansion will cover the Jones Falls and Reservoir Hill areas and include the Mt. Vernon Mill project. There, Terra Nova Ventures plans a multi-use redevelopment of the cotton mill that will include restaurants, 42,000 square feet of office space and 80 apartments.
State officials hope the zone also attracts developers to other industrial and commercial buildings in that area and along North Avenue in Penn North.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said enterprise zones are “a key tool for Baltimore City’s continued revitalization.”
The city accounts for nearly one-third of the state’s enterprise zone area — 21,727 acres of the 74,431 statewide, before Friday’s additions.
The county’s new zone centers on Woodlawn, where the Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are the foundation for the county’s economic development plans.
Dubbed Federal Center, the zone sits along the proposed Red Line light-rail system and includes four business parks — the Rutherford Business Center, Windsor Corporate Park, Executive Park West and Meadows Industrial Center.
That zone “will help assure a strong inventory of technology-ready offices to support this growing federal employment center,” County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said.
The Cambridge-Dorchester zone, already 1,300 acres, will grow to include the Dorchester Regional Technology Park slated to be completed in October and a cluster of health care businesses around Dorchester Regional Hospital.