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Business Incentive Zone

The California Business Incentive Zone (BIZ) was established by Tulare County’s local communities and county government in 1998.  The only one of its kind in California, the BIZ offers a unique range of incentives for companies considering a location in Tulare County.

The BIZ is the only local program of incentives that offer direct investment by providing consultation and funding to hire consultants that assist in the evaluation of an application for local and regional permitting processes. The EDC staff also assists in accessing workforce development, job training, state and federal tax credits and other incentive programs.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 226)

A U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) is a designated area that is considered outside of U.S. customs territory for purposes of customs duty payments. Merchandise may enter the zone without payment of customs duties or excise taxes. These duties and taxes are due only at the time of transfer from the Foreign Trade Zone for U.S. consumption. Companies have the option of paying the duty at the rate of the finished product or the rate of the individual parts or components of the product, an option that can reduce or eliminate the duty. If the final product is exported from the U.S., then no U.S. customs duty or taxes are paid on those items, allowing American companies to remain competitive with foreign-based competitors.

Tulare County is in Foreign Trade Zone 226 allowing businesses or developers to activate as a Subzone which includes the entirety of FTZ benefits.  Today, there is an active FTZ site in Tulare County located in the Midstate 99 Distribution Center in Visalia CA.  All areas within Tulare County are eligible for FTZ Subzone designation through activation with U.S. Customs.

If you import goods worth $1 million or more, or if you purchase foreign goods from a domestic supplier valued at $1 million or more, you’d do well to examine the benefits that an FTZ offers.

  • Merchandise imported into an FTZ and later re-exported from the zone is never assessed any customs duties.
  • Imported merchandise admitted into a zone and then rejected, scrapped or returned to vendor — and the waste products of a manufacturing process — are considered duty free. Some materials can be consumed in the zone and receive duty free status as well.
  • When imported merchandise is shipped to U.S. locations from a zone, duties are deferred until the merchandise leaves the zone.
  • When components are imported into an FTZ and manufactured into a new product for re-export or sale in the U.S., the importer may choose between the finished-product duty rate and the imported-component duty rate, whichever is lower.
  • Importers located in an FTZ are required to submit only one customs entry per week, instead of an entry on each and every shipment. Firms using an FTZ are the only ones in the U.S. that currently enjoy this type of efficiency.
  • Merchandising processing fees (MPF), based upon the value of the goods, are typically paid on a per-entry basis with a maximum dollar cap. Weekly entry for FTZ allows users and operators to file what would be multiple payments of the MPF only once, with the dollar cap still applying. This can constitute a tremendous savings in MPF, reducing costs to importers who otherwise would file multiple entries.

State Incentives

EDC staff can provide more information, application materials, and introduction to State staff to address questions and professionals who can assist in the application process needed.

California Competes Tax Credit

The California Competes Tax Credit provides a credit against state income tax due and is tied to achieving contractual milestones including hiring and investment.  The process is competitive in nature with companies submitting applications to the State, which reviews and decides the award based on a number of factors.  Agreements are negotiated by State staff and considered by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee.  The application process occurs 2 to 3 times per year depending on funding availability.
(Partial) Sales & Use Tax Exemption

A partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing, research and development and electric power generation. The partial exemption applies only to the state sales and use tax rate portion, currently at 3.9375 percent. The exemption does not apply to any local, city, county, or district tax. Qualifying persons include all manufacturers (NAICS Codes 3111 – 3399, inclusive), Research and Development in Biotechnology and Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (NAICS Codes 541711 and 541712, respectively), and those industries primarily engaged in the generation and production, or storage and distribution of electric power (NAICS codes 22111 to 22118, inclusive and 221122).

(Full) Sales & Use Tax Exemption – Advanced Transportation and Manufacturing Sales and Use Tax Exemption

The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) offers a full sales and use tax exclusion to manufacturers that promote alternative energy and advanced transportation.

Recycling Market Development Zone

The Greater South San Joaquin Valley Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) lies in the heart of California’s Central Valley and is home to Sequoia National Park and Forest.  The zone, located within Kings and Tulare Counties encompasses the unincorporated areas as well as the incorporated cities of Avenal, Corcoran, Dinuba, Exeter, Farmersville, Hanford, Lemoore, Lindsay, Porterville, Tulare, Woodlake and Visalia.

If your company manufactures with recycled materials (e.g. construction and demolition debris, plastics, organics, and paper) the RMDZ program provides attractive loans and other incentives to eligible businesses that locate in designated areas throughout the state. Find more details here.

RMDZ’s are for businesses that manufacture products using materials that would normally end up in the landfill. The company must be located in one of the specially designated geographical zones throughout California.

Brochure download

Need help with RMDZ? Apply for recycling business assistance below.

Community Incentives

Tulare County communities define what “business friendly” really means and have designed localized programs specifically crafted to assist businesses. These services are offered in addition to countywide programs such as the Business Incentive Zone, Foreign Trade Zone and Recycling Market Development Zone and are available in most communities, depending on the scope of your project.

21 Day Permit
One of the major benefits is our streamlined permit processing – no bureaucratic headaches. We pledge projects will be fast tracked and a Project Coordinator will serve as your local liaison.
Interest Free
5-Year Fee Deferral
Your company may be provided an easy deferred payment plan for your development fees and no payment is required until occupancy. Payment may be made in five annual installments – interest free. Your deferred fees may include – permit processing, sewer and water connections, storm drain, traffic impact, etc.
Business Loans, including Revolving Loan Funds (RLF)- “Gap” financing for business location and expansion projects.

Industrial Development Bonds (IDB)—Tax-exempt, Low-interest loans.

Commercial Rehabilitation Loans—Low-interest or deferred payment financing for rehabilitation of existing facilities.


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