Board OKs enterprise zone renewal

KINGMAN - The Board of Supervisors approved the renewal of an incentives package, which might lure more industry to Mohave County.

The Board approved the renewal and submission of an application for an Enterprise Zone to the Arizona Department of Commerce.

The county's current enterprise zone will expire on Dec. 31. An enterprise zone uses incentives, such as tax breaks, to draw business to low-income areas of the county.

In order to gain some of the incentives for moving into the enterprise zone, businesses must offer wages that are higher than the median wage in the area. The incentives include reduced property taxes and a premium tax credit for employees.

The idea is to entice businesses to pay higher wages and increase the income level of workers in the area.

According to the renewal documents, Mohave County's current Enterprise Zone consists of 6,532.4 contiguous square miles and includes the Kingman Air Park and the I-40 Industrial Corridor. The poverty rate in the zone is 22.94 percent. "I think you are failing with this project," said one county resident, Jim Kanelos. The current enterprise zone is only attracting the lower-level businesses to the area, such as the prison, the Nucor Steel plant and the power plant, all located along Interstate 40 in Golden Valley.

These industries have not brought a whole lot of business to the area and have sucked the water out of the ground and polluted the air in the area, he said. "I don't think it's working," he said.

The Board approved the renewal application and its submission to the Arizona Department of Commerce.