The Callaway County Commission took the first official step toward declaring a portion of the county as an Enhanced Enterprise Zone.
Tuesday morning the commission passed a resolution to apply to the Department of Economic Development to establish 170 square miles of the county as an enterprise zone, which would offer tax incentives to new businesses and existing businesses looking to expand and add jobs.
"It's a recruiting tool that economic development folks can use," said Western District Commissioner Doc Kritzer. "Callaway has to do something to be competitive. This is just one more tool they will have to recruit for business development and still help existing businesses."
In an Enhanced Enterprise Zone, eligible businesses that create a minimum of two new jobs and make a minimum $100,000 investment can qualify for tax incentives.
"By state statute, the minimum incentive is a 50-percent tax abatement of real property for 10 years, and it only pertains to new development - the existing tax base is not affected, so schools, libraries etcetera, don't lose anything" Kritzer said. "So schools, libraries etcetera don't lose anything of what they're currently getting, they only give up a portion of new tax dollars that would be generated."