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LANCASTER WANTS EDWARDS IN ZONE.

Byline: Jim Skeen Daily News Staff Writer

City officials said Wednesday they will try to expand the Antelope Valley's business enterprise zone onto Edwards Air Force Base in an effort to attract space projects to the region.

The plan would add about 3,500 acres to the 60-square-mile zone, which for the next 15 years will provide tax credits to commercial and industrial properties in Palmdale, Lancaster and the unincorporated areas of the valley.

By extending benefits to the area bounded by 140th and 210th streets east and avenues B and C, companies might have an added incentive to develop space-related projects locally.

``That's what is going to drive our future economy,'' Mayor Frank Roberts said. ``We really want to do whatever we can do to get these vehicles into Edwards.''

Based on the City Council's unanimous vote Tuesday to seek the expansion of the zone, Lancaster officials will work with those in Palmdale and Los Angeles County to submit a proposal to the state Trade and Commerce Agency.

Among the projects that officials hope to draw is the VentureStar, a reusable spaceship being developed by Lockheed Martin ``Skunk Works'' in Palmdale. The company is currently building the X-33, a suborbital craft that will test the technologies needed to build such a spacecraft.

Another possible project is the development of reusable space booster rockets that would fly back to their launch point rather than dropping into the ocean.

Businesses inside an enterprise zone can receive such incentives as tax credits for sales or use taxes paid on the first $20 million of equipment or machinery purchased, deductions for interest income earned on investments, and credit that employees may take on their individual tax returns for wages earned from a firm located in the zone.

Companies will also be eligible for a hiring credit for wages paid to employees hired through specific programs during the first five years on the job - a potential credit of up to $24,000.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 25, 1997
Words:328
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