City Administrator Rick Childers said the state officially has approved St. Clair's Enhanced Enterprise Zone application. Childers received a letter from the Missouri Department of Economic Development announcing its decision late last week.
An Enhanced Enterprise Zone is an economic development tool designed to assist communities that qualify. It is based on demographic criteria that includes U.S. Census data, unemployment and poverty statistics and the presence of blight.
The zone works by supplying a tax abatement program for current businesses that want to expand or new businesses that want to relocate within the zone. The benefits apply only to those that qualify after the EEZ is established.
Language associated with the EEZ states that eligible facilities will receive a minimum property tax abatement of 50 percent for a minimum of 10 years. To qualify, the business must employ at least two new employees and spend a minimum of $100,000 in new investment for a new or expanding industry or $1 million for a replacement facility.
The local EEZ advisory board has recommended a maximum 80 percent abatement over 20 years.
St. Clair's EEZ actually extends well beyond the city limits. It includes Parkway Village as well as land on both sides of the Interstate 44 corridor from Gray Summit to Stanton.
See the Weekend Missourian for the complete story.