BALTIMORE, MD (July 7, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Commerce has approved the redesignation and expansion of Baltimore City’s Enterprise Zone, and the expansion of the Enterprise Zone in Cecil County. Baltimore City’s redesignated zone will include the downtown Pratt Street area, as well as Port Covington and Locust Point, Highlandtown, Greektown and Bayview. In addition, five Focus Areas have been redesignated, with the South Industrial area newly added. A joint effort between state and local governments, the Enterprise Zone program provides real property and state income tax credits for businesses that create jobs and make capital investments.
“Maryland’s Enterprise Zone program has truly helped transform many areas of our state, helping to attract new investments and jobs in places that need it the most,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We are pleased today to announce the redesignation of Baltimore City’s Enterprise Zone, as well as the expansion of the zone in Cecil County, which gives our local partners an important tool to continue to stimulate growth and revitalization.”
Baltimore’s City zone will now encompass roughly 16,760 acres, an increase of 3,271 acres from the existing zone designated in 2012, and removes Harbor East, Harbor Point and the commercial areas in Federal Hill and along Key Highway as they no longer quality for the zone’s benefits due to significant growth in those census tracts. Included in the city’s 2022 application are six Focus Areas which have primarily commercial, industrial, manufacturing and mixed-use businesses, with the goal of attracting new development to these areas. The Focus Areas are Jones Falls, Oldtown, Carroll-Camden, Central West, Holabird-Orangeville, and South Industrial. In addition, the zone will include Pratt Street in the downtown area to help mitigate the loss of businesses due to the COVID pandemic, as well as the Port Covington and Locust Point areas, which are undergoing a significant redevelopment but would still benefit from having the zone designation in place. The zone is approved for the next 10 years.
“The Enterprise Zone program is one of the best tools we have in spurring job growth and investment in underutilized areas,” said BDC President & CEO Colin Tarbert. “We were pleased to work with the Mayor, City Council and Maryland Department of Commerce to redesignate the Enterprise Zone in Baltimore City by adding areas in need of investment and removing areas, like Harbor East, that have successfully utilized the program to transform into vibrant economic engines for the city and state.”
The expanded Cecil County zone is critical to the county’s continued push to attract manufacturing and other important industry sectors, as well as ensuring county residents have job opportunities closer to home. The zone, which will now encompass 8,140 acres, will include a number of parcels of land owned by Northrop Grumman, which will enable the company to continue expansion plans.
“We are extremely pleased to facilitate Northrop Grumman’s continued investment in Cecil County through expansion of the existing Enterprise Zone designation” said Sandra Edwards, Acting Director of Cecil County’s Office of Economic Development. “As a result of our collective efforts, more than 200 highly skilled positions will be added to support the new $110 million-dollar Hypersonics Center of Excellence.”
Businesses located in the state’s 34 Enterprise Zones will receive $46.2 million in property tax credits in FY 2021 based on more than $3.7 billion in investments made in FY 2021.
Commerce approves the State’s Enterprise Zones, while local governments are responsible for their administration. Businesses operating within an Enterprise Zone may be eligible for a tax credit towards their state income tax filings based upon the number of new jobs created, and a tax credit on their local real property taxes based upon their overall capital investment into a property.