Federal Incentives


Foreign Trade Zone

A foreign-trade zone is a designated location in the United States where companies can use special procedures that help encourage U.S. activity and value added – in competition with foreign alternatives – by allowing delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise, as well as other savings. A site which has been granted zone status may not be used for zone activity until the site has been separately approved for FTZ activation by local U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, and the zone activity remains under the supervision of CBP. FTZ sites and facilities remain within the jurisdiction of local, state or federal governments or agencies. Sun Corridor Inc. is the administrator for FTZ #174 and our staff can provide additional information as well as assist with application documentation.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) retroactively allows eligible employers to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for all targeted group employee categories that were in effect prior to the enactment of the PATH Act, if the individual began or begins work for the employer after December 31, 2014 and before January 1, 2020. For tax-exempt employers, the PATH Act retroactively allows them to claim the WOTC for qualified veterans who begin work for the employer after December 31, 2014 and before January 1, 2020. The PATH Act also added a new targeted group category to include qualified long-term unemployment recipients.

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy. Each year, Federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $100 million are required to allocate 2.8 percent of their R&D budget to these programs.

Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)

The STTR is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. Each year, Federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $1 billion are required to reserve 0.3% of the extramural research budget for STTR awards to small businesses.

Empowerment Zone

The Empowerment Zone occupies a geographic area of approx. 17.25 square miles within the Tucson region designated eligible for federal business tax incentives by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Those tax credit incentives are designed as a mixture of tax financing and workforce training incentives with a goal of revitalizing the inner city. Empowerment Zone incentives are available to area businesses and zone residents.

Further Empowerment Zone program details are available on the HUD website.  To determine if you are located within the Empowerment Zone, please visit the ArcGIS Website.  IRS Form 8844 can be found here.
Environmental Site Assessment Grants - Empowerment Zone Benefit
The City of Tucson, Pima County and South Tucson have created districts wherein grant monies will be available for Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA). Those properties located within the zones that have not conducted their Phase I and II ESA can apply for and receive grants to complete those studies, which could cost in the range of $1,800 to $3,500 for Phase I and upwards of $20,000 for Phase II. (Note: An Asbestos Survey and Lead-Based Paint Survey can be conducted in conjunction with the Phase I ESA.)
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