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Governor Brown’s Budget Plan Sparks Debate About Enterprise Zones

— Business owners and local leaders around California are lobbying Governor Jerry Brown to continue funding enterprise zones. The Governor’s budget plan would eliminate state tax credits for the zones to save the state about 900 million dollars.

Trent Barnes, the owner of a couple Ace Hardware stores in a Long Beach-area enterprise zone, says the tax credits are designed to help spur economic growth in depressed areas.

Without the tax cuts, “people aren’t going to want to come into them because it’s a harder way to do business, and the enterprise zone credits give you that edge,” said Barnes. “It’s just one element for success for people who are going into more difficult, more distressed areas.”

Advocates say eliminating the credits would mean a tax increase for the businesses that have already set up shop in an enterprise zone.

Brown has also proposed eliminating redevelopment agencies, which funnel money toward local projects. That’s sparked a contentious debate between city leaders and the Governor.

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