Worker Holding Cloned Plants

Enterprise Zone

Unfortunately, the State of California has decided to not allow applications for new Enterprise Zones until further notice.  As a result, the Watsonville EZ expired effective April 30, 2012.  We will continue to process applications for hiring tax credit vouchers for individuals hired on or before April 30, 2012.  The fee for applying for a voucher is $100, and to research already issued vouchers is $50.  These fees reflect our costs in managing the program.


A business located in the Watsonville Enterprise Zone (see map) can take advantage of tremendous tax credits offered by the State of California. Below are some of the tax credits, for more information please visit The State of California’s Enterprise Zone Page.

Hiring Tax Credit

Businesses may reduce state taxes by up to $37,440 per qualified employee over a five-year period. Qualified employees are new employees who are hired to work at least 50% of their time within the Enterprise Zone and meet ONE of the following criteria:

  1. Resident of the Targeted Employment Area (see TEA map) or
  2. Participant or eligible for services from the Santa Cruz County Career Works program (Calworks/WIA) or
  3. Dislocated and/or unemployed or
  4. Seasonal worker or
  5. Public assistance recipient or
  6. Work Opportunity Tax Credit eligible or
  7. Veteran or
  8. Native American

The Redevelopment and Housing Department determines eligible employees and issues the vouchers allowing businesses to take advantage of the tax credit. The City of Watsonville offers workshops for businesses currently participating in the EZ program and also for those businesses wanting more information on how to participate. Please contact Kurt Overmeyer or Laura Taay to obtain applications for vouchers or to attend the next informational workshop at: 831-768-3080 or send us an email at our Contact Us page.


Sales and Use Tax Credit

Businesses can substantially reduce their California income or franchise tax obligations by taking advantages of this tax credit. In any year, companies may claim a tax credit equal to the tax paid on certain machinery purchases to be used exclusively within the boundaries of the Watsonville Enterprise Zone. Individuals and partnerships may make this claim on the first $1 million of machinery purchased; corporations may claim the credit on the first $20 million of machinery purchased in any one year. For more information, contact the California Franchise Tax Board at (916) 845-3464 or

Business Expense Deduction

Businesses may deduct part of the cost of tangible property as a business expense in the first year it is placed in service. This includes most equipment and furnishings purchased for exclusive use in the Zone (excluding real estate). Depending on the date the property was placed in service, relative to the Enterprise Zone Final Designation, the amount deducted per property can be as much as $20,000. For more information, contact the California Franchise Tax Board at (916) 845-3464 or

Net Operating Loss Carryover and Net Interest Deduction for Lenders

Individuals or corporations in an Enterprise Zone may carry over up to 100% (versus 50%) of net operating losses (NOL) to future years to reduce the amount of taxable income for those years. The NOL carryover is determined by computing the business loss, which results strictly from business activity in the Enterprise Zone. (Suspended for 2002, 2003) Individuals, non-commercial lenders and commercial institutions may deduct the net interest earned on a loan to a business operating solely within the Watsonville Enterprise Zone. The net effect could be a 3 to 4% increase on return-on-investment! Net interest deductions are for the life of the Enterprise Zone. For more information, contact the California Franchise Tax Board at (916) 845-3464 or

Hablamos Español. Por cada empleado que califique, ahorrará más de $37,440 durante un período de cinco años.

Llame a Laura Taay al 831-768-3080.