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15A.9 Quality jobs enterprise zone---state assistance.

1. Findings---zone designation.

a. The general assembly finds and declares that the designation of a quality jobs enterprise zone or zones and the provision of economic development assistance within the zone or zones are necessary to diversify the Iowa economy, enhance opportunities for Iowans to obtain quality industrial jobs, and provide significant economic benefits to the state through the expansion of Iowa's economy. Establishment of the quality jobs enterprise zone or zones and the economic development assistance provided by the state or a local community will be for the well-being and benefit of the residents of the state and will be for a public purpose.

b. In order to assist a community or communities located within the state to secure new industrial manufacturing jobs, the state of Iowa makes economic development assistance available within the zone or zones, and the department of economic development shall designate a site or sites, which shall not be larger than two thousand five hundred acres, within thirty days of March 4, 1994, as a quality jobs enterprise zone or zones for the purpose of attracting a primary business and supporting businesses to locate facilities within the state.

The primary business or a supporting business shall not be prohibited from participating in or receiving other economic development programs or services or electing to utilize other tax provisions to the extent authorized elsewhere by law.

2. Definitions. As used in this section:

a. "Contractor or subcontractor" means a person who contracts with the primary business or a supporting business or subcontracts with a contractor for the provision of property, materials, or services for the construction or equipping of a facility, located within the zone, of the primary business or a supporting business.

b. "Primary business" means a business which pays its full-time production employees at the facility average cash compensation, which shall not include the cost of the business' contribution to retirement or health benefit plans, equating to fifteen dollars per hour worked by the end of the second full year of operation following project completion, and which provides the department of economic development within thirty days of March 4, 1994, with notice of its intent to develop and operate a new manufacturing facility on a specific location within the state, including the legal description of the site which shall not contain more than two thousand five hundred acres, to invest at least two hundred fifty million dollars in the facility, and to commence construction of the facility by December 31, 1994, providing all necessary permits have been issued and zoning changes made in time for construction to begin by that date. The business shall also guarantee that it will create at least three hundred full-time jobs at the facility. The headquarters of the primary business need not be within the zone.

c. "Project completion" means the first date upon which the average annualized production of finished product for the preceding ninety-day period at the manufacturing facility operated by the primary business within the zone is at least fifty percent of the initial design capacity of the facility. The primary business shall inform the department of revenue and finance in writing within two weeks of project completion.

d. "Supporting business" means a business under contract with the primary business to provide property, materials, or services which are a necessary component of the operation of the manufacturing facility. To qualify as a supporting business, the business shall have a permanent facility or operations located within the zone and the revenue from fulfilling the contract with the primary business shall constitute at least seventy-five percent of the revenue generated by the business from all activities undertaken from the facility within the zone.

e. "Zone or zones" means a quality jobs enterprise zone or zones.

3. New jobs credit. At the request of the primary business or a supporting business, an agreement authorizing a supplemental new jobs credit from withholding from jobs within the zone may be entered into between the department of revenue and finance, a community college, and the primary business or a supporting business. The agreement shall be for program services for an additional job training project, as defined in chapter 260E. The agreement shall provide for the following:

a. That the project shall be administered in the same manner as a project under chapter 260E and that a supplemental new jobs credit from withholding in an amount equal to one and one-half percent of the gross wages paid by the primary business or a supporting business pursuant to section 422.16 is authorized to fund the program services for the additional project.

b. That the supplemental new jobs credit from withholding shall be collected, accounted for, and may be pledged by the community college in the same manner as described in section 260E.5.

c. That the community college shall not be allowed any expenses for administering the additional project except those expenses which are directly attributable to the additional project and which are in excess of the expenses allowed for the project under chapter 260E.

To provide funds for the payment of the costs of the additional project, a community college may borrow money, issue and sell certificates, and secure the payment of the certificates in the same manner as described in section 260E.6, including, but not limited to, providing the assessment of an annual levy as described in section 260E.6, subsection 4. The program and credit authorized by this subsection is in addition to, and not in lieu of, the program and credit authorized in chapter 260E.

4. Investment tax credit. The primary business and a supporting business shall be entitled to a corporate tax credit equal to ten percent of the new investment made within the zone by the primary business or a supporting business prior to project completion. A credit in excess of the tax liability for the tax year may be credited to the tax liability for the following twenty years or until depleted, whichever comes first.

For purposes of this section, "new investment made within the zone" means the capitalized cost of all real and personal property, including buildings and other improvements to real estate, purchased or otherwise acquired or relocated to the zone for use in the operation of the primary business or a supporting business within the zone. New investment in the zone does not include land, intangible property, or furniture and furnishings. The capitalized cost of property shall for the purposes of this section be determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

5. Property tax exemption.

a. All property, as defined in section 427A.1, subsection 1, paragraphs "e" and "j", Code 1993, used by the primary business or a supporting business and located within the zone, shall be exempt from property taxation for a period of twenty years beginning with the year it is first assessed for taxation. In order to be eligible for this exemption, the property shall be acquired or leased by the primary business or a supporting business or relocated by the primary business or a supporting business to the zone from outside the state prior to project completion.

b. Property which is exempt for property tax purposes under this subsection is eligible for the sales and use tax exemption under section 422.45, subsection 27, notwithstanding that subsection or any other provision of the Code to the contrary.

6. Sales, services, and use tax refund. Taxes paid pursuant to chapter 422 or 423 on the gross receipts or rental price of property purchased or rented by the primary business or a supporting business for use by the primary business or a supporting business within the zone or on gas, electricity, water, and sewer utility services prior to project completion shall be refunded to the primary business or supporting business if the item was purchased or the service was performed or received prior to project completion. Claims under this section shall be submitted on forms provided by the department of revenue and finance not later than six months after project completion. The refund in this subsection shall not apply to furniture or furnishings, or intangible property.

7. Sales, services, and use tax refund---contractor or subcontractor. The primary business or a supporting business shall be entitled to a refund of the taxes paid under chapters 422 and 423 for gas, electricity, water, or sewer utility services, goods, wares, or merchandise, or on services rendered, furnished, or performed to or for a contractor or subcontractor and used in the fulfillment of a written contract relating to the construction or equipping of a facility within the zone of the primary business or a supporting business. Taxes attributable to intangible property and furniture and furnishings shall not be refunded.

To receive the refund a claim shall be filed by the primary business or a supporting business with the department of revenue and finance as follows:

a. The contractor or subcontractor shall state under oath, on forms provided by the department, the amount of the sales of goods, wares, or merchandise or services rendered, furnished, or performed including water, sewer, gas, and electric utility services for use in the zone upon which sales or use tax has been paid prior to the project completion, and shall file the forms with the primary business or supporting business before final settlement is made.

b. The primary business or a supporting business shall, not more than six months after project completion, make application to the department for any refund of the amount of the taxes paid pursuant to chapter 422 or 423 upon any goods, wares, or merchandise, or services rendered, furnished, or performed, including water, sewer, gas, and electric utility services. The application shall be made in the manner and upon forms to be provided by the department, and the department shall audit the claim and, if approved, issue a warrant to the primary business or supporting business in the amount of the sales or use tax which has been paid to the state of Iowa under a contract. A claim filed by the primary business or a supporting business in accordance with this subsection shall not be denied by reason of a limitation provision set forth in chapter 421, 422, or 423.

c. A contractor or subcontractor who willfully makes a false report of tax paid under the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a simple misdemeanor and in addition is liable for the payment of the tax and any applicable penalty and interest.

8. Corporate tax research credit. A corporate tax credit shall be available to the primary business or a supporting business for increasing research activities in this state within the zone. The credit equals thirteen percent of the state's apportioned share of the qualifying expenditures for increasing research activities. The state's apportioned share of the qualifying expenditures for increasing research activities is a percent equal to the ratio of qualified research expenditures in this state within the zone to total qualified research expenditures. Any credit in excess of the tax liability for the tax year shall be refunded with interest computed under section 422.25. In lieu of claiming a refund, the primary business or a supporting business may elect to have the overpayment shown on its final return credited to its tax liability for the following tax year.

For the purposes of this section, "qualifying expenditures for increasing research activities" means the qualifying expenditures as defined for the federal credit for increasing research activities which would be allowable under section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code in effect on January 1, 1995. The credit authorized in this subsection is in lieu of the credit authorized in section 422.33, subsection 5.

9. Exemption from land ownership restrictions for nonresident aliens.

a. The primary business and a supporting business, to the extent the primary business or the supporting business is not actively engaged in farming within the zone, may acquire, own, and lease land in the zone, notwithstanding the provisions of sections 9H.4, 9H.5, and 567.3, and shall be exempt from the requirements of section 567.4. The primary business and supporting business shall comply with the remaining provisions of chapters 9H and 567 to the extent they do not conflict with this subsection.

b. "Actively engaged in farming" means any of the following:

(1) Inspecting agricultural production activities within the zone periodically and furnishing at least half of the value of the tools and paying at least half the direct cost of production.

(2) Regularly and frequently making or taking an important part in making management decisions substantially contributing to or affecting the success of the farm operations within the zone.

(3) Performing physical work which significantly contributes to crop or livestock production.

10. Limitation on assistance. Economic development assistance under subsections 3 through 9 shall only be available to the primary business or a supporting business. However, if the department finds that a primary business or a supporting business has a record of violations of the law, including but not limited to environmental and worker safety statutes, rules, and regulations, over a period of time that tends to show a consistent pattern, the primary business or supporting business shall not qualify for economic development assistance under subsections 3 through 9, unless the department finds that the violations did not seriously affect public health or safety or the environment, or if it did that there were mitigating circumstances. In making the findings and determinations regarding violations, mitigating circumstances, and whether a primary business or a supporting business is eligible for economic development assistance under subsections 3 through 9, the department shall be exempt from chapter 17A.

11. Economic cost benefit analysis. An economic cost benefit analysis shall be conducted by the legislative fiscal bureau for each zone established under this section for every five-year period through the duration of the zone. The analysis shall measure the impact upon both revenues and costs of the state and affected governmental subdivisions due to economic activities within the zone. The legislative fiscal bureau may contract for any services deemed necessary by the director to complete the analysis.

Section History: Recent form

94 Acts, ch 1008, §17; 95 Acts, ch 152, §1

Footnotes

1995 amendment to subsection 8, unnumbered paragraph 2, is retroactive to January 1, 1994, for tax years beginning on or after that date; 95 Acts, ch 152, § 7


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