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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3D: Economic target areas

[ Text of section effective until August 10, 2016. For text effective August 10, 2016, see below.]

  Section 3D. (1) The EACC may from time to time designate one or more areas of the commonwealth as ETAs, and take any and all actions necessary or appropriate thereto, upon compliance with the following:

  (a) receipt of a municipal application requesting such designation and representing therein that the municipality, based on its own independent investigation, has determined that the area proposed for designation and comprised of three or more contiguous census tracts or one or more contiguous municipalities, in their entirety and either;

  (i) has an unemployment rate that exceeds the statewide average by at least twenty-five percent; or

  (ii) satisfies at least one of the following criteria:

  (A) if the municipality is located in a metropolitan area as defined by the EACC, then at least fifty-one percent of the households in the area proposed for designation have household incomes that are below eighty percent of the median income for households in the metropolitan area in which said municipality is located;

  (B) if the municipality is not located in a metropolitan area as defined by the EACC, then at least fifty-one percent of the households in the area proposed for the designation have household incomes that are below eighty percent of the median income for households (i) in the commonwealth, or (ii) in such applicable non-metropolitan area category as the EACC may from time to time establish or employ;

  (C) has a poverty rate which is at least twenty percent higher than the average poverty rate for the commonwealth;

  (D) if the municipality has experienced a plant closing or permanent layoffs, or military base closing resulting in job loss of two thousand or more within the four years prior to designation as an ETA;

  (E) is located in a community or labor market area which has a distress factor greater than one and thirty-three one hundredths, as defined in section three A;

  (F) if within the municipality there is an area owned by a state agency or authority authorized and established under the laws of the commonwealth which exceeds fifty acres and such land has, within the past ten years, been used to manufacture or repair maritime vessels and is zoned for development or industrial use which the municipality would like to designate as an ETA to develop and return to the tax rolls, and is not being developed or used by such agency or authority;

  (G) the designated area has a commercial vacancy rate of 20 per cent or more; or

  (H) the municipality has sited within it a generation facility, as defined pursuant to section 1 of chapter 164, which has a market value at the time of sale that is at least 50 per cent less than its current net book value.

  (I) the area has sited within it a facility of at least 1,000,000 square feet, which facility would qualify as an abandoned building within the meaning of 38O of chapter 63; or

  (J) the area has sited within it a development project of at least 200 acres to be used for the establishment of a regional technology center with the capability of supporting the build-out of 3,000,000 square feet of commercial or industrial space;

  (K) the area has been designated by the municipality as an area with potential for the development of a Class I renewable energy generating sources, as defined by section 11F of chapter 25A.

  (b) approval of the municipal application by the EACC; provided, however, that the EACC shall find, based on the information submitted in support of the municipal application and such additional investigation as the EACC shall make, and incorporate in its minutes, that the area or areas proposed for designation in said application comport with the definition of an ETA as set forth in, clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, of paragraph (a); provided, further, that such decision shall be effective as specified by the EACC; provided, further, that the statistical criteria employed by the EACC in making such designation shall be the most recent data available as of the date of such decision; provided, further, that the EACC shall be under no obligation to revoke or modify any designation because of changes in statistical data which are published subsequent to a designation decision; and, provided further, that in the event the statistical categories incorporated by reference as aforesaid are subsequently materially altered or superseded by the publishers thereof, the EACC is authorized and directed to develop or employ new categories of statistical criteria which most nearly comport with the aforesaid referenced criteria; provided, that said new categories of statistical criteria shall become effective when approved by the director of economic development.

  (2) The EACC may amend the boundaries of an ETA to address situations in which a commercial or industrial facility that is a prospective certified expansion project candidate is located within the boundaries of 2 or more municipalities with at least 1 of the municipalities in an existing ETA. Under such circumstances, if all of the municipalities involved wish to certify the proposed project, the boundaries of the ETA may deviate from census tract boundaries to include any parcels occupied by the commercial or industrial facility. The EACC may consider such an application for amending the boundaries of an ETA if:

  (a) inclusion of the facility and underlying parcels in the pre-existing contiguous ETA does not alter the eligibility of the ETA as determined pursuant to subclause (ii) of clause (a) of subsection (1);

  (b) evidence that the commercial or industrial facility is physically located in 2 or more municipalities can be provided;

  (c) the amended ETA application is jointly filed by the municipalities in which the facility and parcels are located and the EACC approves the amended ETA application; and

  (d) the filing municipalities represent in their joint application that a certified project application shall be submitted to the EACC within a reasonable period of time for the project proposing to occupy the facility and parcels.

Chapter 23A: Section 3D. Awarding of tax credits available pursuant to Sec. 6 of chapter 62 or Sec. 38N of chapter 63; refundable tax credits; limitations; execution of EDIP contract; finality of EACC decisions

[ Text of section as recodified by 2016, 219, Sec. 7 effective August 10, 2016 for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017. See 2016, 219, Sec. 139. For text effective until August 10, 2016, see above.]

  Section 3D. (a) The EACC may award to the controlling business of a certified project or to its affiliate tax credits available pursuant to subsection (g) of section 6 of chapter 62 or pursuant to section 38N of chapter 63. The amount of any such credits awarded and the schedule on which those credits may be claimed shall be determined by the EACC based on: (i) the degree to which the certified project is expected to increase employment opportunities for residents of the commonwealth, with consideration given to the number of new full-time jobs to be created, the number of full-time jobs to be retained, the salary or other compensation that will be paid to the employees and the amount of new state income tax to be generated; (ii) the timeframe within which new jobs will be created and the commitment of the controlling business for how long they will be maintained, with preference given to certified projects in which a significant portion of the new jobs shall be created within 2 years; (iii) the amount of capital to be invested by the controlling business in the certified project; (iv) the degree to which the certified project is expected to generate net new economic activity within the commonwealth by generating substantial sales from outside of the commonwealth; (v) the extent to which the certified project is expected to contribute to the economic revitalization of a gateway municipality or increase employment opportunities to residents of a gateway municipality; (vi) the economic need of the municipality or region in which the certified project is to be located as determined by income levels, employment levels or educational attainment levels; and (vii) commitments, if any, made by the controlling business to use Massachusetts firms, suppliers and vendors or to retain women or minority-owned businesses during the construction of the certified project.

  The EACC shall have discretion as to how to weigh and apply these criteria. When making an award of tax credits pursuant to subsection (g) of section 6 of chapter 62 or pursuant to section 38N of chapter 63, the EACC may, at its sole discretion: (i) limit the award to a specific dollar amount; (ii) specify the schedule on which the tax credits may be claimed; and (iii) limit or restrict the right of the controlling business to carry unused tax credits forward to subsequent tax years. When a controlling business expects that new jobs will be created over a period of multiple years, the EACC, in awarding tax credits, may allocate and make such credits available to the taxpayer on a schedule that ensures that the tax credits are claimed on or after the date that the jobs are created.

  (b) The EACC may grant refundable tax credits to a certified project; provided, however, that the EACC shall not authorize more than $5,000,000 in refundable tax credits for any single calendar year.

  (c) The total amount of tax credits that may be authorized by the EACC under this section for any calendar year shall not exceed $30,000,000 which shall be calculated in accordance with the relevant provisions of subsection (g) of section 6 of chapter 62 and section 38N of chapter 63. The EACC may authorize an award of tax credits to a controlling business that spans multiple years if the total amount of credits due to be taken in any single calendar year does not exceed the applicable cap.

  (d) The MOBD shall require the recipient of tax credits awarded pursuant to this section to execute an EDIP contract after the EACC awards tax credits under this section.

  (e) The decision by the EACC to certify or deny certification of a proposed project pursuant to section 3C and the decision by the EACC to award or deny tax credits to the controlling business of a certified project pursuant to this section, including without limitation the amount of such award, and any conditions or limitations on such award, shall be decisions that are within the sole discretion of the EACC. Such decisions by the EACC shall be final and shall not be subject to administrative appeal or judicial review pursuant to chapter 30A or give rise to any other cause of action or legal or equitable claim or remedy.