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General Laws

Section 3F. (1) The EACC may from time to time designate one or more projects as certified expansion, enhanced expansion or manufacturing retention and job growth projects, and take any and all actions necessary or appropriate thereto, upon compliance with the following:

(a) receipt of a project proposal therefor requesting such designation from the controlling business;

(b) in the case of expansion project proposals and manufacturing retention and job growth project proposals, receipt of a written approval of said project proposal by the municipality which contains the project, said municipality having found, based on the information submitted with said project proposal and such additional investigation as the municipality shall make, and incorporate in a formal written determination, that:

(i) the project proposal complies with the definition of a project proposal set forth in section three A;

(ii) the project as described in the proposal and all documentation submitted therewith:

(A) if the proposal is for an expansion project, that it is consistent with and can reasonably be expected to benefit significantly from the municipality’s plans relative to the project EOA, as those plans are described in paragraph (2) of section three E; and

(B) together with all other projects previously certified and located in the same expansion project EOA or municipality, will not overburden the municipality’s supporting resources, including but without limitation those set forth in clause (f) of said paragraph (2) of section three E;

(iii) the project proposal includes a workable plan, with precise goals and objectives, by which the controlling business proposes to realize the increased employment objectives for the project and the business’ plan to employ aggressive affirmative action goals, objectives and identification and recruitment techniques and, in the case of an expansion project, the plan for increased employment from among residents of the expansion project ETA; and

(iv) the project proposal contains documentation regarding an agreement, if any, between the controlling business and area banking institutions by which said controlling business agrees to establish one or more accounts in said banks and said banks agree to commit a specified percentage of the funds deposited in said accounts for loans made thereby to businesses located within the expansion project area pursuant to the Massachusetts capital access program established pursuant to section fifty-seven of chapter twenty-three A; and

(v) the expansion, enhanced expansion or manufacturing retention and job growth project as described in the proposal, together with the municipal resources committed thereto, will, if certified, have a reasonable chance of increasing or retaining employment opportunities for residents of the expansion project area, ETA or municipality as applicable, as advanced in said proposal; and

(c) receipt with such written approval by the municipality of a request for a designation of the project as a certified project for a specified number of years, which shall be not less than five years nor more than: (i) twenty years; or (ii) if the designation is for an expansion project, the number of years remaining on the duration of the designation of the expansion project EOA, whichever is less; and

(d) the following findings are made by the EACC, based on the project proposal, documents submitted therewith, the municipality’s written approval decision, and such additional investigation as the EACC shall make, and incorporate in its minutes, that:

(i) the project proposal complies with the definition of a project proposal set forth in section three A, with all other applicable statutory requirements, and with such other criteria that EACC may prescribe from time to time; and

(ii) the project as described in the proposal, and as further described in the written determination of the municipality made pursuant to clause (b) will, if certified, have a reasonable chance of increasing or retaining employment opportunities for residents of the expansion project area, ETA or municipality, as applicable; and

(2) A certified project shall retain its certification for the period specified by the EACC in its certification decision; provided, however, that such specified period shall be not less than 5 years from the date of certification nor more than: (i) 20 years from such date; or (ii) for an expansion project, the number of years remaining on the duration of the designation of the project EOA, including any renewals thereof; or (iii) the number of years requested by the municipality approving the project proposal, whichever is lesser, unless such certification is revoked prior to the expiration of the specified period. The certification of a project may be revoked only by the EACC and only upon: (a) the petition of the municipality that approved the project proposal, if applicable, if the petition satisfies the authorization requirements for a municipal application, or the petition of the director of economic development; and (b) the independent investigation and determination of the EACC that representations made by the controlling business in its project proposal are materially at variance with the conduct of the controlling business subsequent to the certification and such variance is found to frustrate the public purposes that such certification was intended to advance; provided, that the EACC shall review such certified project at least once every 2 years; provided, however, that for an expansion project where the actual number of permanent full-time employees employed by the controlling business at the project is less than 50 per cent of the number of such permanent full-time employees projected in the project proposal, then this shall be deemed a material variance for the purposes of a revocation determination. Upon such a revocation, the commonwealth, and the municipality, in the case of a certified expansion project, shall have causes of action against the controlling business for the value of any economic benefit received by the controlling business prior or subsequent to such revocation.

Under this section, revocation shall take effect on the first day of the tax year in which the EACC determines that a material variance commenced. The commissioner of revenue may, as of the effective date of the revocation, disallow any credits, exemptions or other tax benefits allowed by the original certification under this section. The department shall issue regulations to recapture the value of any credits, exemptions or other tax benefits allowed by the certification under this section.

Any such revocation shall only be applied prospectively and shall not apply to, nor revoke any benefits due to the project that relate to years prior to the year in which the revocation determination is made, unless the EACC determines that the controlling business of the project made a material misrepresentation in its project proposal, in which case both the commonwealth and the municipality shall have causes of action against the controlling business for the value of any economic benefits received subsequent to the date on which such material misrepresentation was made. Annually, on or before the first Wednesday in December, the EACC shall file a report detailing its findings of the review of all certified projects that it evaluated in the prior fiscal year to the commissioner of revenue, to the chairs of the joint committee on revenue and the chairs of the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies.

(3) The EACC shall evaluate and either grant or deny a project proposal within 90 days of its project proposal date and failure to do so by the EACC shall result in approval of the project for a term of 5 years. Approval of a project under this section shall not constitute an approval by the EACC of any tax incentives provided for under chapters 62 and 63.

(4) The EACC may amend the boundaries of an ETA to address unique situations in which a commercial or industrial facility, which is the location for a prospective certified expansion project candidate, is located within the boundaries of two or more municipalities, with at least one of the municipalities in an existing ETA. Under such circumstance, 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 the parcel or parcels occupied by said commercial or industrial facility. The EACC may consider such an application for amending the boundaries of an ETA; provided, however, that:

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

(b) evidence that said commercial or industrial facility is physically located in two 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 said amended ETA application;

(d) an application for designation of an Economic Opportunity Area for the area including the facility and parcels are located is also submitted and approved by the EACC; and

(e) a certified project application will be submitted to the EACC within a reasonable period of time for the project proposing to occupy said facility and parcels.

(5) The EACC may award to a certified project tax credits available under subsection (g) of section 6 of chapter 62 and section 38N of chapter 63. The amount and duration of the credit awarded shall be based on the following factors:

(a) for expansion projects:

(i) the degree to which the project is expected to generate net new economic activity within the commonwealth by generating substantial sales from outside of the commonwealth, or otherwise;

(ii) the degree to which the project is expected to increase employment opportunities for residents of the project ETA and of the commonwealth; and

(iii) the economic need of the project ETA as measured by the income and employment levels of the ETA;

(b) for enhanced expansion projects:

(i) the degree to which the project is expected to generate net economic activity within the commonwealth by generating substantial sales from outside of the commonwealth, or otherwise; and

(ii) the degree to which the project is expected to increase employment opportunities for residents of the commonwealth;

(c) for manufacturing retention and job growth projects:

(i) the degree to which the project is expected to generate economic activity within the commonwealth by generating substantial sales from outside of the commonwealth, or otherwise; and

(ii) the degree to which the project is expected to retain or increase manufacturing employment opportunities for residents in the project gateway municipality and the commonwealth.

(6) The EACC may, in consultation with the department of revenue, limit any incentive or credit available to a project pursuant to subsection (g) of section 6 of chapter 62 and section 38N of chapter 63 to a specific dollar amount or time duration or in any other manner deemed appropriate by EACC.

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