State enterprise zone programs are a common type of eco-nomic development incentive. These programs designate certain geographical areas as enterprise zones and provide tax breaks to qualified businesses located within those zones. Depending on the location of the geographical area chosen, enterprise zone programs may contribute to sprawl development. This Note first provides an overview of state enterprise zone programs. Second, this Note examines the programs’ environmental impact by exploring their link to sprawl development. This Note ultimately argues that states should bring enterprise zone programs in line with smart growth principles. This Note also argues that advocates for such reform will be more successful if they are mindful of communities’ need for job creation and economic development. Consequently, this Note provides an overview of the economic literature evaluating state enterprise zone programs, and an overview of the evolving dynamic between job proponents and environmental advocates.
Zoning Out: State Enterprise Zones' Impact on Sprawl, Job Creation, and Environment,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.