Cass County is home to five (5) Enhanced Enterprise Zones (EEZs). The EEZs are designed to attract new or expanding businesses through the use of state tax credits and local property tax abatement. The zones are specified geographic areas designated by local governments and certified by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Zone designation is based on certain demographic criteria, the potential to create sustainable jobs in a targeted industry and a demonstrated impact on local industry cluster development.
The five EEZs are:
- Southeast Cass County Enhanced Enterprise Zone
- Northeast Cass County Enhanced Enterprise Zone
- Belton Enhanced Enterprise Zone
- Drexel Enhanced Enterprise Zone
- Harrisonville Enhanced Enterprise Zone
Interested parties may contact the CCCED regarding the Southeast and Northeast Cass County EEZs and the respective municipal governments for the Belton, Drexel and Harrisonville EEZs.
An eligible business must be located in an EEZ. While the more typical recipient is a manufacturer or distributor, service industries can be eligible if a majority of their annual revenues will be derived from services provided out of the state. The company cannot have been announced or construction started prior to the approval process.
The Enhanced Enterprise Zone Program is a discretionary program offering state tax credits, accompanied by local real property tax abatement, to Enhanced Business Enterprises. Tax credits may be provided each year for up to five tax years after the project commences operations.
To receive tax credits for any of the years, the facility must create and maintain the minimum:
- New or expanded business facility – 2 new employees and $100,000 new investment;
- Replacement business facility – 2 new employees and $1,000,000 new investment
- Company must offer health insurance at all times, of which at least 50% is paid by the employer, to all full time employees in Missouri.
Eligible investment expenditures include the original cost of machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, land and building, and/or eight times the annual rental rate paid for the same. Inventory is not eligible.
Tax credits will be an amount authorized by DED, based on the state economic benefit, supported by the number of new jobs, wages and new capital investment that the project will create.
Tax credits issued under this program are limited to $24,000,000 annually, effective August 28, 2008.
Applicants must be eligible for and receive at least ten years’ local real property tax abatement at 50% pursuant to the local enhanced enterprise zone plan.
Projects relocating employees from one Missouri location to another Missouri location must obtain the endorsement of the governing body of the community from which the jobs are being relocated and include this endorsement with the Notice of Intent.
A business cannot earn tax credits under this program if earning Enterprise Zone, Business Facility, Quality Jobs, Rebuilding Communities, or Brownfield Jobs and Investment tax credits for the same project for the same tax period.
HB 184 became effective August 28, 2013. This bill replaced the Enhanced Enterprise Zone program with Missouri Works. Only those companies that received a proposal on August 27, 2013 or before may submit a Notice of Intent for Enhanced Enterprise Zone. Any company currently in the program may continue to receive benefits through the end of their approved benefit period provided they continue to meet program requirements.