CAMBRIDGE Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Friday the state approved the expansion of the Cambridge-Dorchester County Enterprise Zone by 507 acres.

"I am thrilled that the Cambridge-Dorchester Enterprise Zone has been expanded by more than 500 acres to include the Regional Technology Park and the medical-related businesses around our hospital," said Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley in a written statement. "This expansion will better equip the city to foster and sustain a technology-driven employment which I believe is a crucial factor for our City's future economic growth."

Cambridge Mayor and Council in April approved the submission of a joint application between the Cambridge Economic Development Office and Dorchester County Economic Development Office to the Department of Business and Economic Development for the expansion of the Enterprise Zone.

The Enterprise Zone expanded by 507 acres, which includes the county's Business and Technology Park. The tech park has a scheduled completion date of October with assistance from the state and has the potential to create up to 500 jobs, according to a press release from O'Malley's office.

About 85 acres around the waterfront where Dorchester General Hospital is located is included in the expansion, which is consistent with the city's comprehensive plan. Prior to this expansion, the city had 1,212 acres in the Enterprise Zone.

"Dorchester County is excited about the potential business attraction opportunities the expanded zone represents," said Director of the Dorchester County Economic Development Keasha Haythe in a written statement. "The new Enterprise Zone offers a wide range of additional economic development incentives to businesses desiring a strategic Eastern Shore location."

Baltimore County was also approved for a 395-acre Enterprise Zone as part of a Federal Center at Woodlawn economic development initiative.

"Maryland's Enterprise Zones are one of our most powerful tools to help revitalize communities by sustaining existing businesses and attracting new businesses that create and retain jobs," said O'Malley in a written statement. "The expansion of the zones in Baltimore and Cambridge-Dorchester County, and the addition of a new zone in Woodlawn will help spur redevelopment in commercial and industrial areas of our State so they can compete and win in the new economy."

The Enterprise Zone offers qualified businesses credits on real property taxes and state income taxes. Existing businesses located in the zone may receive tax incentives in exchange for creating new jobs and making capital investments.

According to the press release, the State Department of Assessment and Taxation data shows that businesses in the state's 29 Enterprise Zones will receive property tax credits totaling $38.1 million in fiscal year 2012 based on real property investments made by those businesses totaling more than $3 billion.


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