Wilson, Larson, Rogers, and Cohen Introduce Legislation to Spur Job Creation and Investment in Promise Zones
Washington - Today, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep. John B. Larson (D-CT), House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced The Promise Zone Job Creation Act to create new tax credits to incentivize the hiring of residents of federally-designated Promise Zones. It would also encourage new investments to bring property, equipment, or software to these hard-hit communities.
"I am grateful to be an original co-sponsor of the Promise Zone Job Creation Act of 2016 to incentivize businesses that create jobs in designated Promise Zones," Wilson said. "I've seen first-hand the benefits of the Promise Zone designated has had on South Carolina's Second Congressional District. The Lowcountry SC Promise Zone, which includes Barnwell County, has created over 250 quality jobs since being designated a Promise Zone in 2015. The investment and resources have provided opportunities for the community to grow over the last year, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of the Promise ZOne in the future."
“Many Promise Zone’s—like Hartford’s North End—face tremendous challenges battling poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and even violence,” said Larson. “The Promise Zone designation assures priority consideration for federal funding and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, but I firmly believe we can do more. This bill will encourage businesses to locate within and hire residents from the Zone. I commend Chairman Rogers for his partnership as well as Mayor Luke Bronin, Thea Montanez, and local leaders like our ‘06120 Delegation’ for their dedication to improving the lives of North End residents. Every American deserves the dignity that comes from having a job, and this bill will help make that a reality for men and women who are most in need. “
“Coal country has suffered devastating and economically debilitating impacts from the downturn in the coal industry. In Kentucky’s coalfields, we’ve lost nearly 11,000 coal mining jobs since 2009, making the effort to revitalize and rebuild a difficult, uphill battle,” said Rogers. “I am proud of the efforts that local leaders have already undertaken to leverage the Promise Zone designation in Eastern Kentucky, and with this legislation, we can take those efforts to the next level. I am proud to partner with this bipartisan group of members in introducing this bill, which will encourage new businesses to establish roots in the coalfields where they will find some of hardest working, dedicated workforces in the country.”
“I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bipartisan bill that will bring more jobs and economic investment to designated Promise Zones,” said Cohen. “Memphis is unfortunately ranked in the top ten of the most economically distressed cities in the United States and has the second highest unemployment rate of metropolitan areas with more than a million people. So being from Memphis, I realize the importance of the Promise Zone program to reduce concentrated poverty and increase the economic vitality of Memphis and similar cities that could be designated Promise Zone areas.”
The Promise Zone Job Creation Act was originally introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) in the 113th Congress. This bipartisan, bicameral effort will establish employment tax credits and bonus depreciation to enable businesses and residents to realize more immediate economic benefits.
The Promise Zone Job Creation Act will:
- Create employment tax credits: This legislation would create an employment credit to be provided to businesses that employ Promise Zone residents. Credit would apply to the first $15,000 of qualifying zone employee wages. The credit rate would be 20% for zone residents who are employed within the zone and 10% for zone residents employed outside of the zone.
- Establish Bonus depreciation: Qualified property placed in service within the zone would be eligible for additional first-year depreciation of 100% of the adjusted basis of the property. This includes tangible property with a recovery period of 20 years or less, water utility property, certain computer software, and qualified leasehold improvement property. The property must be placed in service within the zone while the zone designation is in effect.
More information on Promise Zones can be found at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by visiting https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/promise-zones/promise-zones-overview/.