Enterprise Zone Program
Enterprise zones are designed to encourage business investment through property tax exemption in designated areas of the county. Locating or expanding into an enterprise zone provides eligible businesses property tax exemption. Exemption applies to new construction and equipment for a period of 3 to 5 years.
Eligible business includes:
- operations that serve other organizations, such as call centers and headquarter facilities
- hotel/resort businesses in the Sandy Enterprise Zone
Retail, construction, financial and certain other defined activities are ineligible.
Criteria for Qualifying Projects
For the standard, 3-year enterprise zone exemption, the business should meet the following criteria:
- increase full-time, permanent employment by 10%;
- pay employees at least 150% of the State minimum wage ($14.18 per hour for 2016) (benefits can be used to reach this pay level);
- maintain minimum employment level during the exemption period;
- enter into a first-source agreement with local job training providers;
- pay an application fee of 0.1% of the proposed total investment.
Criteria for the extended tax exemption (for a maximum of a 5-year exemption):
The business should meet the criteria for the 3-year enterprise zone exemption, as well as the following:
- Compensation of new workers must be at or above 150% of the county average wage $33.47 per hour/$69,621 annual for 2016 (benefits can be used to reach this pay level);
- There must be local approval by written agreement with the local zone sponsor;
- The company must meet any additional requirements that the local zone sponsor may reasonably request.
Strategic Investment Zone
The Urban and Rural Strategic Investment Zone provides a compelling business recruitment tool designed to attract large capital intensive traded sector businesses. The program provides consistent criteria and a streamlined approval process.
- 15 year property tax abatements on facilities and equipment to any "traded-sector" business. Examples include production, manufacturing, high tech, among others.
- Applies to large capital investments—$25 million minimum in the rural zone and $100 million in the urban zone.
- Requires the company to pay a community service fee equal to 25% of the tax savings per year to local public service providers to offset community impacts. The community service fee is capped at an annual maximum of $2 million in urban areas or $500,000 in rural areas.
The Clackamas County Urban Zone: unincorporated urban Clackamas County and the cities of Lake Oswego and portions of Happy Valley.
The Clackamas County Rural Zone: unincorporated rural Clackamas County, portions of Happy Valley and the cities of Sandy, Molalla, Estacada and Canby.
Clackamas County Rural Revolving Loan Program
Businesses located outside the Portland Metro urban growth boundary are eligible for loans up to $150,000. This money can be used on land, building acquisition, new construction, machinery and equipment. The requirements are one job for each $25,000.
Mt. Hood Economic Alliance Grants & Revolving Loan Fund
These are Regional and Rural Investment Funds (grants & loans) focusing on economic development. Priority is given to projects that:
- create or retain jobs
- leverage outside capital investment for business development
- demonstrate ongoing sustainability
- support minority and women owned companies
- projects that achieve an average wage level at or above the county minimum average wage.
Rural Community Loan Program
The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments provides assistance to area small businesses with all of the commonly used government finance programs. These federal, state and local resources are designed to be used in partnership with private lenders—such as banks—to provide the financing needed by companies to expand or start new ventures.
Please contact us at 503-742-4BIZ (4249) for more information.