ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Wes Moore has announced that the Maryland Department of Commerce approved three new Enterprise Zones – Woodlawn in Baltimore County; the towns of Betterton and Worton in Kent County; and the town of Snow Hill in Worcester County.
The department also approved the redesignation and expansion of an existing zone in the town of Princess Anne, and has approved the redesignation of existing zones in Baltimore County’s Southwest area, Cecil County, and the City of Cambridge in Dorchester County.
“Maryland’s Enterprise Zone program has a tremendous impact on communities throughout our state, serving as a catalyst for growth and revitalization in areas that need it the most,” said Gov. Moore. “We are pleased to designate three new zones, which will be an important tool to attract new investment, encourage businesses to expand, and create new jobs.”
A joint effort between state and local governments, the Enterprise Zone program provides real property and state income tax credits for businesses that create jobs and make capital investments. Businesses located in the state’s 34 Enterprise Zones will receive $47 million in property tax credits based on more than $4.3 billion in investments made in FY23.
The Maryland Department of Commerce approves the State’s Enterprise Zones, while local governments are responsible for their administration. Businesses operating within an Enterprise Zone may be eligible for a tax credit towards their state income tax filings based upon the number of new jobs created, and a tax credit on their local real property taxes based upon their overall capital investment into a property.
“As our local partners see the significant benefits of the Enterprise Zone program, we are seeing more and more interest in creating new zones, as well as expanding zones to include areas ripe with economic potential,” said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “This program has become one of the most important incentives in our arsenal, and over its 40-year history, it has helped spur billions in private investment.”
The new Enterprise Zone in Baltimore County’s Woodlawn area contains 756 acres of office, flex, light manufacturing and warehouse space in the area of Security Square Mall. With this designation, the county hopes to kick start a renaissance in the area by addressing dormant and declining retail development, spurring redevelopment of existing buildings and attracting new tenants. The county has committed $20 million to a community-driven revitalization, and several new developments—including the Woodlawn Health Center—have already opened in the area.
Baltimore County also received approval for the redesignation of the Southwest Enterprise Zone, which has been the county’s most successful zone with more than $210 million in private investment and more than 1,200 jobs created since 1996. Numerous buildings have been renovated or built in the zone, which has attracted a number of major projects including Bakery Express, Ferguson Enterprises, Hollins End Business Park and four office buildings within the UMBC Research Park. With this redesignation, the county hopes to continue the success of the zone by attracting new companies and encouraging redevelopment.
“All communities are worthy of investment, capable of revitalization and deserving of the resources they need to reach their full potential,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “With proven success in our Southwest Enterprise Zone, I thank the Maryland Department of Commerce’s re-designation there along with a newly established Enterprise Zone in Woodlawn, both of which will help create jobs and stimulate economic growth for residents and stakeholders in western Baltimore County.”
Kent County has received approval for a new enterprise zone in the town of Betterton and the Worton Industrial Area. Manufacturing, education, healthcare, agriculture, and tourism are the county’s leading industries. Primary interest remains in retaining current businesses and helping them expand to increase the employment and tax base, as well as compete with neighboring Delaware for business attraction. The new zone will complement efforts by the county already underway to increase businesses in the area, including extending water and sewer in the Worton Industrial Area.
“The Enterprise Zone property tax credit has proven to be the most effective tool in the economic development toolbox for business retention and expansion in Kent County,” said Director of Economic and Tourism Development Jamie Williams. “This designation includes one of two designated growth areas, outside of the municipalities. New investments into infrastructure by the state and county position us for business attraction moving forward. Through these efforts, Kent County is demonstrating the desire to create additional and diverse job opportunities for current and new residents.”
Worcester County’s Snow Hill area will use its new enterprise zone status to help revitalize the downtown historic commercial district, which sees a significant number of visitors for arts- and tourism-related events. Currently, one-third of the commercial units in Snow Hill’s downtown area are vacant or underutilized, and potential owners face a high cost to renovate. The town is hoping the zone will attract new businesses, encourage the expansion of existing businesses, and improve the town’s position as a center of commerce and tourism in the county.
“The Snow Hill Mayor and Council look forward to leveraging enterprise zone benefits toward continued revitalization,” said Director of Economic Development for the Town of Snow Hill Lorissa McAllister. “This designation is indicative of the strong support from Worcester County and the State of Maryland in creating new opportunities for Snow Hill. It is with great excitement that we will promote this program to incentivize job creation and business development.”
One of two main centers of business and industry in Somerset County, the town of Princess Anne received approval for redesignation and expansion of its zone. The zone currently encompasses the town’s historic district, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the Princess Anne Industrial Park and Somerset Crossing, and will now include an additional 152 acres along Revells Neck Road where the new Somerset County Industrial Park will be built.
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