Although its future is in doubt, Hesperia's enterprise zone makes it a good place to do business today -- and retroactively over the last year -- officials say.


In a workshop held Thursday at Hesperia City Hall, consultant Amanda Sullivan of American Tax Incentives told local business owners how the city's enterprise zone designation could save owners state sales tax.


Gov. Jerry Brown has argued that the state's enterprise zone designation needs to be cut to balance California's budget, but Hesperia's designation -- which it received last year -- remains intact for now.


Enterprise zone tax incentives can "reduce or even eliminate your state tax liability," Sullivan said.


Businesses only need to be located within an enterprise zone to qualify. Ninety-five percent of existing Hesperia businesses are in Hesperia's enterprise zone.


The program's benefits include a hiring tax credit, sales and use tax credits, business expense deductions, net interest deductions and more.


Hiring one qualified employee can generate $37,440 in enterprise zone tax credits over a five-year period. The credits are aimed at employees who have faced difficulties getting hired, including veterans, the working poor, the disabled and so on. At $12/hour, a qualified employee generates more than $12,000 in tax benefits the first year.


Tax benefits also apply to many categories of business expenses. The business expense tax deductions can be $20,000 to $40,000 a year.


A map and more information about the Hesperia enterprise zone are available at www.CityOfHesperia.us/EZ.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.