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JOBZ: Agricultural Processing Facility Zones

What are agricultural processing facility zones?

The act establishing the JOBZ program also authorized designation of a separate category of zones, agricultural processing facility zones. These zones are limited to assisting agricultural processing businesses, but can be designated in the future after the authority to designate zones under the JOBZ program authority expires.

Do agricultural processing facility zones qualify for the same tax incentives as zones under JOBZ?

Yes, the law defines a job opportunity building zone to include an agricultural processing facility zone. Thus, generally the same incentives and rules apply to both types of zones.

How do agricultural processing facility zones differ from zones under JOBZ?

Agricultural processing facility zones are subject to a few different rules than those that apply to JOBZ. These include the following:

  1. Designation rules. The Commissioner of Department of Employment and Economic Development can designate agricultural processing facility zones at any time. Unlike JOBZ, there is no designation schedule set out in the statute. Thus, so long as designation authority remains available, the commissioner can designate a zone in response to a specific development proposal at any point during a year. In addition, designations need not be made following a competitive round of applications by local governments. Applications need not be evaluated under the need and success indicators applicable to JOBZ applications. The commissioner of DEED is also directed to consult with the commissioners of agriculture and revenue before making a designation. JOBZ designations require consulting only with the commissioner of revenue.
  2. Zone size. Agricultural processing facility zones are limited to "the size of the site necessary for the agricultural processing facility." The site can, however, include space for ancillary facilities and for expansion.
  3. Qualified businesses. Because the zones are limited to the site for the agricultural processing facilities, in effect, the only qualified business will be the agricultural processing concern.

How many agricultural processing zones may be designated?

Five agricultural processing zones may be designated.

How many agricultural processing zones have been designated?

So far, one agricultural processing facility zone has been designated. Thus, DEED can designate up to four more of these zones.

October 2011