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Enterprise Zone


Helping Business Utilize Designated Enterprise Zones
Enterprise Zones are designed to stimulate development by targeting economically distressed areas in Iowa. Through state and local tax incentives, businesses and developers are encouraged to make new investments and create or retain jobs in these designated areas. The goal of the program is to revitalize these areas and make them competitive with other locations throughout the state. View a map of Iowa counties and cities that have established Enterprise Zones here.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The business must make a minimum qualifying investment of $500,000 within a three-year period. A qualifying investment includes the cost of land, buildings, improvements to buildings, manufacturing machinery and equipment and/or computer hardware.
  • The business must create or retain at least 10 full-time, project-related jobs within a three-year period and maintain them for an additional two years.
  • The business must provide some level of medical benefits to all full-time employees. Additionally, the business must also provide all full-time employees with a standard medical and dental insurance plan of which the business pays 80 percent of the premiums for employee-only coverage, pays 50 percent of the premiums for family coverage or provides a monetarily-equivalent benefit package.
  • The business must pay new or retained employees a starting wage which is equal to or greater than 90 percent of the average county or regional wage, whichever is lower. Wage thresholds requirements are available here.
  • The business cannot be a retail establishment or a business whose entrance is limited by coverage charge or membership.
  • The business cannot close or relocate its operation in one area of the state and relocate substantially the same operation in an Enterprise Zone.
  • The local Enterprise Zone Commission and the Iowa Economic Development Authority must approve the business' application for Enterprise Zone program incentives prior to project initiation.


An Incentive for Business Expansion
Businesses locating or expanding in an established Enterprise Zone may be eligible to receive certain local and state tax incentives:

  • A local property tax exemption of up to 100 percent of the value-added to the property to a period not to exceed 10 years may be available
  • Funding for training new employees (If applicable, these funds would be in addition to those authorized under the Iowa New Jobs Training Program)
  • A refund of state sales, service or use taxes paid to contractors or subcontractors during construction
  • A refund of sales and use taxes paid on racks, shelving and conveyor equipment for distribution center projects
  • An investment tax credit of up to a maximum of 10 percent of the qualifying investment, amortized over five years. This tax credit is earned when the corresponding asset is placed in service and can be carried forward for up to seven additional years or until depleted, whichever occurs first
  • Iowa’s refundable research activities credit may be increased while the business is participating in the program


Businesses locating or expanding in an Enterprise Zone may apply for benefits by completing an application (see link below). Local Enterprise Zone Commissions review applications and, upon approval, forward them to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for final approval. Access the financial assistance application process here.

Learn More
Iowa is a right-to-work state with a superior business climate that offers flexible assistance for qualifying expansions or relocations. Its low cost of doing business, pro-business government, central geographic location and world class workforce and education systems make Iowa a great place to do business.

Contact the Iowa Economic Development Authority at any time with questions or to discuss your business. Our staff can provide technical assistance and offer confidential site consultation services.

Contact Information


Clarinda Economic Development Corporation
200 S. 15th Street
Clarinda, IA 51632
712-542-2160
developiowa@iowatelecom.net

An Incentive for Housing Development


Developers and contractors building or rehabilitating housing in an established Enterprise Zone may be eligible to receive certain state tax incentives.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The developer or contractor must build or rehabilitate at least four single-family homes or at least one multi-family building containing three or more units in a certified Enterprise Zone.
  • The housing must, when completed and made available for occupancy, meet HUD Housing Quality Standards and local housing codes.
  • The housing project must be completed within two years of the start of construction or rehabilitation.
  • The local Enterprise Zone Commission and IEDA must approve the developer or contractor's application for Enterprise Zone program incentives prior to project initiation.



Tax Incentives

  • A refund of state sales, service or use taxes paid during construction.
  • An investment tax credit of up to a maximum of 10% of the investment directly related to the construction or rehabilitation of the housing.* The tax credit is based on the new investment used for the first $140,000 of value for each home or unit. This tax credit is earned when the home or unit is certified for occupancy and can be carried forward for up to seven additional years or until depleted, whichever occurs first.



*If the project is, in part, financed through federal, state and local government tax credits, grants and forgivable loans, these monies can not be included for purposes of calculating the investment tax credit.