SACRAMENTO – Building on efforts to grow California’s economy and help businesses create jobs, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced new tax incentives for employers hiring workers in Fresno, Merced and Riverside.
“The state’s economy is steadily improving and more than a million Californians are back to work after the massive mortgage meltdown,” said Governor Brown. “These tax credits will spur new jobs and help communities hardest hit by the recession.”
The New Employment Credit (NEC) is a hiring credit for businesses in California communities with the highest rates of unemployment and poverty. The credit is part of the Governor’s Economic Development Initiative – AB 93 and SB 90 – which passed in 2013 and received support from both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature, businesses and labor groups.
Under the legislation, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) will oversee the credit and may designate up to 5 pilot areas. In selecting the first round of pilot areas, GO-Biz evaluated employment, poverty and wage data to identify areas of the state that would benefit the most from the expanded hiring credit. The geographical designations for the NEC and the pilot areas can be found on the Franchise Tax Board’s website. The designation as a pilot area is effective immediately, applicable for four years and may be extended by GO-Biz for an additional three years.
The Governor’s Economic Development Initiative is funded by redirecting approximately $750 million annually from the state’s outdated and ineffective Enterprise Zone program and also includes a statewide sales tax exemption on qualifying manufacturing equipment and research and development equipment purchases for biotech and manufacturing companies.
The Governor’s Economic Development Initiative builds on the Governor’s strong record of pursuing regulatory changes and legislation to improve the state’s business climate. Since taking office in 2011, the Governor has approved legislation to modernize the workers’ compensation system, the regulatory and fee structure for the timber industry, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements and the facility inspection process for the life sciences industry. In addition to these legislative actions, Brown has established GO-Biz as the state’s lead economic development office to advance business opportunity in California and signed international agreements with China, Peru and Israel to help boost California’s trade interests around the world.
Since Governor Brown took office, California’s unemployment rate has dropped from 12.1% to 8.1% and the state has added more than one million jobs. Last September, Governor Brown signed legislation to raise California’s minimum wage from $8.00 per hour to $10.00 per hour.
Additional information on the NEC and other aspects of the Governor Economic Development Initiative can be found here.