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City of Rochester

NYS Empire Zones Program


** Please note: Effective June 30, 2010, no new entrants are being accepted into this program **


New York State Empire Zones (EZs), formerly known as Economic Development Zones, are designated geographic areas that offer special incentives to encourage economic development, business investment and job creation. Certified businesses in the zone who are eligible could qualify for significant tax credits, sales tax benefits as well as a utility discount. ezlogo

MAPS:      All Areas   Area 1   Area 2   Area 3   Area 4

If your business is located within an EZ, or is interested in locating in an EZ, please contact the City of Rochester Empire Zone at (585) 428-6853. 

EZ Benefits Include

WAGE TAX CREDIT (WTC)

This is a NYS income tax credit that:

  • Is available for up to five consecutive years for hiring full-time employees in newly created jobs
  • Provides up to a $3,000 credit per year per new job filled by a targeted employee
  • Provides up to a $1,500 credit for other new hires
  • The credit increases $500 for employees with wages in excess of $40,000

INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT (ITC)

This is a NYS income tax credit that:

  • Is available for qualified EZ manufacturing, R&D and investment firms who make "qualified investments" in the zone
  • Provides 10% credit for business corporations (C-Corps)
  • Provides 8% credit for individuals, sole proprietors, partnerships or S-Corp
  • Businesses that are new to NYS are eligible for a 50% cash refund of any unused WTC and ITC amounts

EMPLOYMENT INCENTIVE CREDIT (EIC)

  • An additional 3% income tax credit (EIC) is allowed for each of the three taxable years immediately following the taxable year that the ITC was allowed, provided certain employment requirements are met.

485-e PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT

  • Provides for a reduction in the taxable assessment based upon physical renovation or new construction within the zone
  • Spread over a ten-year schedule
  • 100% exempt in the first seven years
  • 25% per year thereafter

SALES TAX REFUND

  • A sales tax refund of the local and state sales tax paid on purchases of building materials used in commercial and industrial improvement projects within the zone

ZONE CAPITAL CREDIT

 This is a NYS income tax credit that:

  • Available for pre-approved direct equity investments in a certified EZ business, OR
  • A contribution in a pre-approved community development project within the zone
  • The credit is equal to 25% of the eligible investment or contribution

QUALIFIED EMPIRE ZONE ENTERPRISE (QEZE) BENEFITS

THE REAL PROPERTY TAX CREDIT (RPTC)

This is a refundable NYS income tax credit.

For companies certified prior to April 1,2005, the credit is:

  • Computed on a formula based on the number of new jobs created and real property taxes paid in the zone
  • Available for a 14-year period
  • After 10 years, credit decreases by 20% in each year thereafter

For companies certified on or after April 1, 2005, the benefit period is reduced to 10 years, and is the greater of:

  • 25% of total wages and benefits paid to net new employees, capped at $10,000 per new job, OR
  • The capital investment amount not to exceed the real property taxes paid. 

TAX REDUCTION CREDIT

This is a NYS income tax credit.

For companies certified prior to April 1, 2005, credit is:

  • Computed on a formula based on the number of new jobs created in the zone, the company’s assets in the zone and in the state, and income taxes owed by the company
  • Available for a 14-year period
  • After 10 years, credit decreases by 20% in each year thereafter

For companies certified on or after April 1, 2005, the benefit period is reduced to 10 years.

SALES TAX EXEMPTION

  • 4% NYS sales and use tax exemption
  • For tangible personal property and services sold to qualified EZ businesses
  • Property/services must be used predominately in the EZ

An employment test must be met on an annual basis in order to qualify for QEZE benefits.


Important:  Please consult the NYS Empire Zone Tax Law and your Tax Accountant to verify specific eligibility requirements.


For more information:


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