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Brown_Enterprise_Zones_Cali.jpgGov. Jerry Brown today signed legislation overhauling an enterprise zone program of hiring tax credits that have provided employers in locally designated areas large tax breaks for years.

The legislation signed in San Diego, including Senate Bill 90 and Assembly Bill 93, would significantly scale back such hiring credits, instead providing a sales tax exemption for manufacturing and biotech research companies and other tax credits negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the administration.

The Democratic governor and labor unions criticized the existing enterprise zone program as wasteful and ineffective. A modified version of Brown's proposal to overhaul the program was approved by the Legislature after Brown negotiated a series of changes, including extending to 10 years from five years a carry-forward provision for hiring credits under the existing enterprise zone program.

"This legislation will help grow our economy and create good manufacturing jobs," Brown said in a prepared statement. "Through our great university system and through the companies we have, California can build on the strength of intellectual capacity. Let's get to work!"

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown, center, visits Takeda, a biotech firm, in San Diego, where he signed Assembly Bill 93 and Senate Bill 90 overhauling the state's enterprise zone program on Thursday, July 11, 2013. U-T San Diego/Carolyne Corelis


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