General Requirements Businesses located in an enterprise zone may be eligible for tax credits based upon wages paid to qualifying employees. For businesses located in a focus area (an area within an enterprise zone that is especially in need) the credit amounts are higher.
Businesses that own, operate, develop, construct or rehabilitate property intended for use primarily as single- or multi-family residential property are not eligible for the enterprise zone tax credit.
Qualifying employees are those employees who:
1. Are new employees or employees rehired after being laid off for more than one year;
2. Were employed at least 35 hours per week by the business for at least six months before or during the business entity's tax year for which a credit is claimed;
3. Spent at least one-half of their working hours in the enterprise zone on activities of the business resulting directly from its location in the enterprise zone;
4. Earn 150% or more of the federal minimum wage; and
5. Were hired by the business after the later of the date on which the enterprise zone was designated or the date on which the business entity located in the enterprise zone.
In addition, an employee may not have been hired to replace an individual employed by the business in that or the three previous tax years except an economically disadvantaged employee hired to replace a previously qualified economically disadvantaged employee, for whom the business received the corresponding first- or second year credit in the immediately preceding tax year.
For information on the location of enterprise zones and focus areas and the standards which businesses must meet to qualify, contact the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Division of Business Development, Tax Incentives Group, 217 E. Redwood Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 (410-767-6438).
Economically disadvantaged employees are those who are certified as such by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Division of Employment and Training, 1100 N. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 (410-767-2047). That office will provide information relating to certification requirements for such employees.