Kirstin Davis, 509.625.7773
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 1:55 p.m.
The Washington State Department of Commerce has approved a significant expansion of Spokane’s Community Empowerment Zone (CEZ) boundaries to include all industrial-zoned land in the area. Spokane Mayor David Condon and the city council requested the extension so that industrial property well-suited to manufacturing development projects will be eligible for special tax incentives associated with the CEZ and federal Opportunity Zone designations.
“Mayor Condon and Spokane City Councilmembers adapted to take full advantage of these incentive programs designed to strengthen communities by providing opportunities to attract manufacturing businesses that support good, family wage jobs,” said Commerce Director Dr. Lisa Brown.
Created in 2001, CEZ designation enables economically disadvantaged urban areas to qualify for special tax incentives intended to support reinvestment in the zone. Program rules changed recently, requiring that businesses not only hire from within the zone, but also locate there. Spokane found itself at a disadvantage with very little industrial land inside the zone suited for manufacturing facilities.
“Expanding our Community Empowerment Zone boundaries adds value to the City's economic development toolkit,” said Spokane Mayor David Condon, noting 62 projects added over 1,300 new positions, growing combined employment at the participating companies to 7,823. After the rule change, the pace dramatically decreased to almost nothing.
Condon added, “Now that our CEZ boundary includes all of our industrial zoned property where manufacturing facilities can locate we are able to diversify our growth and opportunity for all kinds of employment and business sectors who want to take advantage of Spokane's talent pool and quality of life.”
See the approved Spokane CEZ map here.
Qualified businesses located in the CEZ may apply to the Department of Revenue for sales tax deferrals and business and occupation tax credits. To learn more about Spokane’s CEZ, visit https://my.spokanecity.org/economicdevelopment/incentives/cez/