How do non-profit organizations apply for Contribution Project Status?
Projects (or modifications of existing projects) must be approved by the Mesa County Enterprise Zone Committee and the Mesa County Commissioner. If approved locally, projects will be submitted to the State for approval from the Economic Development Commission (EDC). Organizations seeking approval for a project, program or organization for the Enterprise Zone Contribution Tax Credit agree to abide by all applicable reporting and procedural requirements of the EDC and Department of Revenue.
Cap on Aggregate Tax Credits per Project
Each project must limit the total contributions it certifies for the Enterprise Zone Contribution Tax Credit each year to $750,000 or less in potential tax credits (this is equivalent to $3 million in cash donations or $6 million of in-kind donations).
- Reporting: Contributions certified for EZ contributions must be reported to the local zone administrator on a monthly basis. Organizations with approved contribution projects must submit an annual recertification application to their local zone administrators, including a summary of activities accomplished with EZ contribution funds.
- Administrative Fees: The Mesa County Enterprise Zone charges a fee of 1% of cash/stock donations (with a maximum fee of $5,000 per year), plus $1 per transaction to organizations to whom administrative services for the organization’s approved Enterprise Zone Project are provided.
- Record Keeping: Each contribution project is required to retain records of individual contributions for inspection by the Zone Administrator or the State for at least five years. It is highly recommended that each respective project administrator keep copies of each signed donation Certification as this is the only verification of donations that will be available in case of lost certificates. The project administrator should also keep copies of any other correspondence or pertinent records. This includes back-up information for the value of in-kind donations. In the case of extraordinary in-kind donations, the Enterprise Zone Administrator may require a copy of proof of valuation.
Eligible Categories of Projects
The EDC has determined that projects which fall in the following categories generally meet the purposes allowed by the law, subject to review of individual project issues:
1. Homeless shelters that offer or provide referrals to child care, job placement, and counseling services for the purpose of promoting employment for homeless persons in enterprise zones.
2. Business assistance (management training and counseling, incubators, finance funds, feasibility studies, etc.)
3. Job training programs, including higher education.
4. Infrastructure projects serving businesses (water, sewer, transportation, telecommunications, streetscaping, business and industrial parks), so long as the primary purpose is not to serve an individual user or development who is a contributor and the infrastructure is publicly owned .
5. Marketing for business, economic, and business district development.
6. Rural Health Care Facilities which are identified in a rural enterprise zone’s development plan as essential to maintain the viability of small and/or remote communities and directly related to job creation or job preservation.
7. Community Development projects that contribute indirectly to job creation and job preservation in the enterprise zone, and will implement the adopted economic development plan for the enterprise zone.
In general, a project must have as one of its main purposes creating or preserving an environment which will help attract, expand, or retain employers in the enterprise zone. Direct employment of the sponsoring non-profit organization will not be used to qualify a project, nor will project construction employment.
- Zone Geography: Since 1986, Mesa County Enterprise Zone has designated specific areas and properties to be within the Enterprise Zone boundary. If a project operates both within and outside of enterprise zone boundaries, the sponsoring organization should be able to show that EZ contributions are used to cover those expenditures which it can reasonably allocate to the zone geography, and that other sources of funding are available to cover non-zone related activities.
- Multiple Purpose Organizations: Organizations that serve multiple purposes in addition to an approved project must maintain a separate accounting system to assure that zone-contribution funds are used only for the approved functions.
- “Umbrella” fund-raising agencies: Organizations that pass contributions through to other organizations are not eligible for the EZ contributions tax credit.
- No Direct Benefit: The statute provides that no credit is to be “allowed for contributions that directly benefit the contributor.” The commission will not approve project proposals whose primary purpose is to provide infrastructure for an individual user or developer who is a contributor. Multiple-user projects may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Submit form to:
Enterprise Zone Administrator
Business Incubator Center
2591 Legacy Way
Grand Junction, CO 81503