Montana Code Annotated 2003

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     7-21-3710. Tax credits for employers in empowerment zone. (1) There is allowed to an employer a credit against taxes imposed under 15-30-103, 15-31-121, 15-31-122, or 33-2-705 for an increase in net employees as provided in this section.
     (2) To be eligible for a credit under this section, the owner of a business located in an empowerment zone:
     (a) shall conduct a business in a facility within the empowerment zone in which retail sales of tangible personal property, other than that manufactured in the business facility, are not in excess of 10% of the business conducted in the facility, whether measured by number of employees doing retail sales, by square footage, or by dollar volume; and
     (b) shall increase employment in the empowerment zone with employees:
     (i) who are employed for at least 1,750 hours a year in permanent employment intended to last at least 3 years;
     (ii) who were not employed by the business in the preceding 12 months;
     (iii) at least 35% of whom were residents of the county in which the empowerment zone is located at the time they were hired by the business;
     (iv) who are provided a health benefit plan for employees in accordance with 33-22-1811(3)(d) of which at least 50% of the premium is paid by the business; and
     (v) who are paid for job duties performed at the empowerment zone location of the business.
     (3) (a) For the purposes of subsection (2)(b)(i), an employee hired in the last 90 days of a year is considered to be an employee beginning employment in the following year. If an employee terminates employment, a replacement employee may be hired and the credit for the combined length of time may be claimed.
     (b) For the purposes of subsection (2)(b)(iii), if an employee for whom a credit was claimed and who counted as an empowerment zone county resident for credit eligibility in either of the immediate 2 preceding years terminates employment, the replacement employee must have been a resident of the county in which the empowerment zone is located at the time the replacement employee is hired.
     (4) An employer shall apply for certification to claim a credit under the provisions of this section. The department shall require a report that contains detailed information to determine whether an employer qualifies under subsections (2) and (3). The information must be detailed enough for auditing purposes. The department is authorized to inspect employers applying for certification or who have obtained certification.
     (5) The department shall certify to the department of revenue or the state auditor's office, as applicable, whether a business may claim a credit under the provisions of this section as well as how many additional employees qualify and the year of initial employment of qualifying employees.

     History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 582, L. 2003.

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