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Council Discusses Incentive Programs to Attract Tech Businesses to College Park

At last night’s worksession, the City Council discussed incentive programs in the form of property tax credits to attract businesses to College Park.  The new incentives will be only eligible to businesses in innovation district (or RISE zone) in College Park.

For some time, the City has been working with the University, the County, the CPCUP, and Riverdale Park on a joint RISE Zone application. The Prince George’s County Council has introduced a resolution in support of the RISE Zone with a five-year, 75 percent County tax credit for high-technology new investment.

The RISE Zone application has been amended in response to Council comments during the February 16 Worksession discussion. The application specifies that anywhere in the entire RISE Zone, new commercial and industrial buildings will be eligible for the minimum real property tax credit of 50 percent first year, 10 percent following four years (same from the County) on the increased value of the property due to new investment (a new building or the expansion / major renovation of an existing building). Hotels, motels, grocery stores, and retail are NOT included in this category of commercial and industrial.

Additionally, the application proposes that within the Innovation District and the Research Park areas of the RISE Zone, new investment for high technology businesses in the fields of engineering, data analytics, earth sciences, virtual reality, cybersecurity, quantum computing, linguistics, additive manufacturing, e-commerce, robotics, aerospace, biotechnology and similar industries will be eligible for the real property tax credits of 50 percent for five years (75 percent from the County for five years ) on the increase to the property assessment. According to staff, after the 300,000 sf of development is completed at the same time, at the minimum required level (50% credit year 1, and 10% credit years 2-5), the RISE Zone tax credit total over five years would be $162,810.

The City new tax revenue would be $741,690. At the higher credit level for high technology development, the City RISE Zone tax credit of 50% for five years results in new City tax revenue of $452,250.

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