City Offers Income Tax Break for Online Businesses

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Companies that do most of their business online can now get a break on their state income taxes if they expand or locate in Hermiston.  The “E-Commerce Zone” income tax incentive was recently approved for Hermiston by the Oregon Business Development Department and makes the city the only E-Commerce Zone in eastern Oregon.

The tax credit is tied to new capital investment by E-Commerce businesses.  The credit equals 25 percent of the investment cost made in capital assets, with an annual maximum credit amount of $2 million per year, but unused tax credit amounts may be carried forward for five years.  For example, if a qualifying company makes $40 million in capital investments in Hermiston, it can receive $10 million in income tax credits which can be drawn against for five years.

“E-Commerce” is defined as engaging predominantly in transactions via the internet or an internet-based computer platform.  These transactions can include taking orders, closing sales, making purchases, providing customer service or undertaking other activities that serve the business’s overall purpose.  Qualified new investments also include those that support or ensue from e-commerce activity such as shipping and storage facilities to fulfill orders arising from e-commerce.

“This is a very broad and powerful incentive,” said Mark Morgan, Assistant City Manager.  “It can be used by businesses ranging from a small back-office call center that invests a few thousand dollars in equipment, to a major online retail fulfillment center, to a large-scale data center which invests several hundred million.”

More information about the benefits of Hermiston’s E-Commerce Zone can be found on the City of Hermiston website at  Morgan will also present information and answer questions about the opportunity to interested businesses at the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce’s Business to Business Luncheon on September 23.


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