Helgesen News

Forward Janesville today hailed the creation of a Development Opportunity Zone (DOZ) for Janesville in the 2009-11 state budget, which was signed into law by Governor Jim Doyle this morning.   

DOZs are special geographic areas that offer special tax credits to businesses that create or retain jobs in “economically distressed areas”. Companies that expand, locate or start-up within a DOZ are eligible to claim Wisconsin income tax credits for job creation and capital investment.  Tax credits tied to capital investment are what make the DOZ program so useful, as today’s competitive global economy relies heavily upon technology-enhanced productivity.  Previously, the legislature established DOZs in several Wisconsin cities, including one specifically for Beloit’s successful Gateway Business Park. 

“The capital investment piece of the DOZ significantly enhances the street value of these tax credits,” said James Otterstein, Rock County’s Economic Development Manager.   “We’ve seen the impact of the DOZ at the Gateway Business Park.  While these tax credits are not the only tool that Beloit is using to attract investment and business, it’s imperative to have as many arrows as you can within your economic development quiver.”

The Janesville DOZ will initially have $5 million in tax credits to utilize over a five-year period.  Pending approval from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, this tax credit allocation figure and time period could be doubled.  

The Janesville DOZ concept was championed by Forward Janesville as the top priority on its Roadmap to Janesville’s Future, the organization’s legislative and economic development agenda.  The Roadmap, which contains four priorities designed to jump-start Rock County’s economy, was the centerpiece of FJI’s first-ever lobbying day in Madison in March.  Visit the government relations tab of ForwardJanesville.com learn more.  
 
“In the wake of last year’s announcement that Janesville’s GM Assembly Plant was closing, people from all across the state—including our local legislators—wanted to know how they could help Janesville,” said Kayla Hiller of Nowlan and Mouat law firm and the Chair of the FJI Government Relations Council.  “The Roadmap to Janesville’s Future is our answer to that question.”  

“Forward Janesville would like to thank our local legislative delegation—especially Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan and Senator Judy Robson, a member of the Joint Finance Committee—for championing this proposal,” said Hiller.  “We thank them for their hard work and dedication to our community.”

“The DOZ tax credits give us another tool in our economic development tool box, which will help set us apart from other communities,” said John Beckord, the President of Forward Janesville.  “When you combine these tax credits with our area’s top notch workforce, superior school infrastructure and tireless team of economic development professionals, Rock County’s economic future looks pretty bright.”

For more information, please contact Dan Cunningham, FJI’s Vice President of Government Relations & Education, at 757-3160 or via email at DanC@ForwardJanesville.com