UMBC tech park businesses eligible for tax credits under state program
University of Maryland, Baltimore County's research and technology park has been designated a Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise Zone by the state, qualifying any business operating there for new property and income tax credits.
Bwtech's affiliation with UMBC and success as an incubator and job-growth site — the park houses about 80 companies with 165,000 square feet of work and lab space — qualifies its for the designation from the Maryland Department of Commerce. Through the program, bwtech can use financial incentives to draw new businesses and create jobs within the 71-acre "zone" in Baltimore County. Any of the companies working on the bwtech campus can now apply for additional tax credits.
UMBC said the designation will help it attract tech-related companies to a 100,000 square foot expansion. The new development will take two to five years to complete.
The RISE Zone program was created in 2014 by the state legislature to attract and retain businesses in certain areas of growth by giving state tax credits that can be used to increase hiring and maintain facilities. It is part of an overarching effort by the state to increase support for businesses and boost economic development.
“Bwtech@UMBC has become UMBC’s primary means of encouraging business development. It is a critical asset in the university’s technology commercialization efforts,” UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski said in a statement. “A RISE Zone designation will allow us to continue to attract partners to assist with additional research park development.”
The research and technology park will maintain the RISE designation for five years, and UMBC can apply to renew the designation for an additional five years. Any county or municipality in Maryland can have up to three RISE Zones at any given time, according to legislation.
Other RISE Zones in the state include University of Maryland, Baltimore and the area around the University of Maryland, College Park. College Park received its designation earlier this year, for a zone that covers about 470 acres around the school’s campus. Major projects in the RISE Zone include a 300-room luxury hotel and conference center expected to open in July, a new office building and two multifamily residential projects near the College Park Metro Station.
Morgan is a reporter for the Baltimore Business Journal. She covers technology, education and health care.