Enterprise Zone Adds $60M to Tax Rolls
Taxing districts in Western Umatilla County received a major boost in 2015 as a result of the Hermiston Enterprise Zone attracting investment to the region. A $35 million investment in 2009 by DuPont-Pioneer Seed, and a 2011 investment of $25 million by Shearer’s Foods, both saw their property tax incentives expire on July 1, 2015. The expiration of those incentives means that the companies will now pay property taxes on those investments to the City of Hermiston, Umatilla County, Hermiston Fire & Emergency Services District, and Hermiston School District, among others.
DuPont-Pioneer Seed and Shearer’s Foods both have continuing Enterprise Zone Exemptions for other additional investments that they have made. The 2015 Exemption Claim forms filed by the two companies show that they combined to add an additional 51 new full time jobs in 2015, which resulted in an additional $1.6 million in payroll compared to 2014. Since 2009, the two companies have now combined to add 306 new jobs, with a payroll of $8.67 million, as a result of investments receiving Enterprise Zone Exemptions.
The Hermiston Enterprise Zone Exemption is an incentive which allows eligible businesses which expand in Hermiston to receive a total exemption from property taxes on new construction and equipment for three to five years. Eligible businesses include shippers, manufacturers, and processers, as well as call centers and headquarter facilities. Retail, construction, financial, and certain other activities are not eligible for the exemption. The basic requirement to receive the exemption is that the business must increase full-time permanent employment within Hermiston by one new job, or 10% of existing employment, whichever is greater. Businesses may also receive a five year exemption if the new jobs that they create carry a total compensation package of at least 150% of Umatilla County’s average annual wage. More information about the Hermiston Enterprise Zone can be found HERE.