What is JOBZ?
Job Opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ) is a new and exciting tool to stimulate business activity. Eligible businesses in a JOBZ designated zone operate in an environment nearly free of state and local taxes. These tax incentives will help new and expanding companies lower their overall costs and will help facilitate their growth and prosperity. West Central Initiative (WCI), representing Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties, applied for and received JOBZ designation for 25 communities (subzones) within the nine counties and three communities (subzones) in western Stearns County. WCI serves as the regional Zone Administrator.
JOBZ Tax Exemptions
- Income Tax for business owners or lessees
- Sales and Use Taxes on goods and services used in the zone
- Property Tax (except for land, general obligation bonds, and school operating levies in place prior to zone designation)
- Wind Energy Production Tax
JOBZ Tax Credit
- Job Creation Credit for businesses that pay more than $30,000 annual salary
Eligibility and Requirements
To qualify for the JOBZ tax exemptions, a business must start-up in a subzone, relocate from outside of a subzone or expand into a subzone. Companies wishing to participate in the JOBZ program must meet the business assistance goals of the community in which they wish to locate. Once approved, the company will then enter into a Business Subsidy Agreement with the community, which is a legal document outlining all requirements under the JOBZ program, including those specific to the community. Companies relocating from another Minnesota site qualify by increasing employment by 20 percent within the first year or by making capital investment in the property of at least 10 percent of gross revenues from the previous year. Companies within Minnesota who relocate to a JOBZ subzone are required to enter into a Relocation Agreement with the State, which outlines specific JOBZ requirements relative to relocating companies. In addition, there are ongoing reporting requirements for both communities and companies participating in the JOBZ program.
West Central Communities Currently Participating in JOBZ
Alexandria, Barnesville, Brandon, Carlos Township, Chokio, Dalton, Detroit Lakes, Elbow Lake, Fergus Falls, Frazee, Freeport, Garfield, Glenwood, Glyndon, Hancock, Hawley, Melrose, Moorhead, Morris, New York Mills, Osakis, Parkers Prairie, Pelican Rapids, Perham, Sauk Centre, Starbuck, Underwood and Wheaton.
To see a listing of current JOBZ designated properties within these communities, go to www.mnpro.com, click on the link "JOBZ Search" then select West Central MN from the map (light blue) and select a community. At the top of the community page, click on the "View JOBZone Properties" link under the JOBZ logo at the top on the right. Properties with the JOBZ designation have the JOBZ logo next to them.
What Are The Initial Steps Interested Companies Must Take To Apply?
Step 1: The company contacts local subzone administrator to determine whether the proposed project meets the business assistance goals of the community in which they plan to operate.
Step 2: An official public hearing is scheduled and notification of the hearing is publicized to area residents.
Step 3: The public hearing is held and subzone administrator and representatives from the company present the business proposal to the community.
Step 4: Based on public input at the meeting, the council will then decide whether to adopt a resolution in support of the project.
Step 5: If the council adopts a resolution in support of the project, approval will be given to draft a Business Subsidy Agreement with the company.
The application process may vary from community to community. For example, some communities have specialized committees that address economic development issues and companies may need to make their initial presentation to this committee prior to receiving a city council hearing.
For More Information
about JOBZ, contact:
Economic Development Planner
West Central Initiative
Toll Free: 1-800-735-2239 (MN only)
Or visit the JOBZ Web site at: