April 28, 2003
MARTINEZ HIGHLIGHTS BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S STIMULUS PLAN IN JACKSONVILLE, PROMOTES EMPOWERMENT ZONE TAX BENEFITS
President's tax relief will benefit five million Floridians
JACKSONVILLE, FL - Working families and business owners in Florida would see significant tax savings as a result of President Bush's economic stimulus plan. That was the message Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez delivered today to Jacksonville's business community during a HUD-sponsored conference to promote the City's new Empowerment Zone.
Joined by a team of nationally recognized economists and tax experts, including Robert Carroll of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, Martinez also explained the Bush Administration's plan to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
"The President's stimulus plan will put money in the pockets of families and small businesses throughout Florida," said Martinez. "Significant tax benefits are also available to businesses in Jacksonville's Empowerment Zone. All of this means more jobs and economic prosperity here in Jacksonville and across the state."
Endorsed by 250 leading economists, the Administration's tax relief plan would create 510,000 new jobs by the end of this year and 1.4 million by the end of 2004. In Florida, five million taxpayers would receive an average tax cut of $1,083, 1.4 million families would get an additional $400 per child, 1.8 million working couples would get relief from the so-called "marriage penalty," and 1.2 small businesses in the state could triple the amount they could expense for equipment and machinery. In addition, the plan would bring relief to Florida stockholders through elimination of the double taxation of dividends.
Last year, HUD designated Jacksonville among eight new Empowerment Zones qualifying businesses to share in an estimated $17 billion in tax incentives to promote economic development, create affordable housing and expand job opportunities. Empowerment Zones encourage public-private partnerships that generate economic development in some of the nation's most distressed urban communities.
By taking advantage of an attractive package of tax credits, deductions, bond financing and capital gains exclusions, business owners can spend more money expanding their operations and less on their annual taxes. Each incentive is tailored to meet the particular needs of a business and offers a significant inducement for companies to locate and hire additional workers, thereby improving employment and the general economic climate within Jacksonville's Empowerment Zone.
designated an Empowerment Zone only furthers our City's efforts to manage growth
in areas that can sustain it. The tax incentives available in the Empowerment
Zone have the potential to increase job growth and entice new businesses to
set up shop in these targeted areas," said Mayor John Delaney.
Businesses that remain or locate within Jacksonville's Empowerment Zone can enjoy significant tax savings in the following ways:
Wage credits are especially attractive to businesses looking to grow. These businesses are able to hire and retain Zone residents and apply the credits against their federal tax liability. Businesses located within Jacksonville's Empowerment Zone will enjoy up to a $3,000 credit for every newly hired or existing employee who lives in the EZ - each year!
Work Opportunity Credits provide businesses up to $2,400 against their Federal tax liability for each employee hired from groups with traditionally high unemployment rates or other special employment needs, including youth who live in Jacksonville's Empowerment Zone.
Welfare to Work Credits offer businesses a credit of up to $3,500 (in the first year of employment) and $5,000 (in the second year) for each newly hired long-term welfare recipient.
Tax-Exempt Facility Bonds help Empowerment Zone businesses to receive lower-cost loans to finance property, purchase equipment and develop business sites within these communities.
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds allow state and local governments to match no-interest loans with private funding sources to finance public school renovations and programs.
located within Jacksonville's Empowerment Zone can postpone or only partially
recognize the gain on the sale of certain assets, including stock and partnership
interests. This benefit significantly reduces the capital gains tax liability
on businesses located within these designated areas.
Under Section 179 of the tax code, eligible businesses located within Jacksonville's EZ may deduct up to a total of $60,000 each year for depreciable property such as equipment and machinery acquired after December 31, 2001.
Environmental Cleanup Cost Deductions allow businesses to deduct qualified cleanup costs in Brownfields.
Like all distressed communities, Jacksonville will also be able to take advantage of the New Markets Tax Credits that provide investors with an annual credit against their federal taxes of five-to-six percent of the amount invested in a distressed area. Also available is the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit providing credits allocated by the State of Florida against Federal taxes for owners of newly constructed or renovated affordable rental housing.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.