Colorado Enterprise Zone Program

The Colorado Enterprise Zone (EZ) Program is designed to promote a business-friendly environment in economically distressed areas by offering state income tax credits that incentivize businesses to locate and develop in, and non-profit organizations to assist with the needs of these communities.
Private-sector business activity encouraged by these income tax incentives brings job opportunities and capital investment to economically distressed areas. The private investment results in tax revenue for school districts, cities, counties and the state, outweighing the costs of the tax credits granted.

the 40 West Artline as an enterprise zone

The 40 West ArtLine connects people and places through an interactive walking and biking art experience. With its first phase funded through a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” Grant awarded to the City of Lakewood and 40 West Arts, the ArtLine is a four-mile route connects three parks in 40 West Arts District. The ArtLine first phase includes a major art installations in each park, artistic route delineation, and creative and interactive “connective tissue” throughout the route.

To contact the local West Colfax administrator to receive a DR75 for either of these two Contributions Projects, email

40 West Arts’ mission supports the advancement of individual artists and creative entrepreneurs as well as local residents, businesses, and property owners in an historic corridor—and it helps to energize an entire community and contribute to a state-wide initiative to stimulate the economy through arts and culture activities.

40 West Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and a Colorado Certified Creative District, fulfills its mission-driven purpose by delivering direct, positive impact to Lakewood’s historic West Colfax community through its arts and culture programming and support for creative enterprises. The overarching purpose of 40 West Arts is to serve the community through the arts - to bring arts education and experiences to those with limited access to the arts and to give artists and creative enterprises a community-based platform for community service and to further their creativity and move their entrepreneurial efforts forward. 40 West Arts provides artists and other creatives:

  • A connection to a state-designated creative district 

  • A forum for social and professional dialogue with creative peers 

  • Galleries and other venues to show and sell their work 

  • A conduit to “Call for Artists” revenue opportunities 

  • Resources and services to help expand their creativity and their business

  • A platform to connect with opportunities to serve the local community

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List of Enterprise Zone Tax Credits

  • EZ – Investment Tax Credit: Businesses investing in Enterprise Zones through business personal property can earn a 3% tax credit. Special rules for renewable energy equipment apply.

  • EZ – Job Training: Companies that implement a qualified job-training program for their enterprise zone employees may earn an income tax credit of 12% of their eligible training costs. 

  • EZ – New Employee Credit: Businesses increasing their workforce may earn a state income tax credit $1,100 per net new employee. 

  • EZ – Agricultural Processor: An additional tax credit of $500 per net new employee may be claimed by   businesses adding value to agricultural commodities through manufacturing or processing. 

  • EZ – Enhanced Rural EZ: An additional tax credit of $2,000 per net new employee may be claimed for businesses in Enhanced Rural EZs – these are re-established every 2 years. EREZ designated counties are highlighted on the map below.

  • EZ – Enhanced Rural Agricultural Processor: An additional tax credit of $500 per net new employee may be claimed if the business is an agricultural manufacturing or processing business in an Enhanced Rural EZ. 

  • EZ – Employer Sponsored Health Insurance: Offers businesses $1,000 per net new employee insured under a qualified health plan for which the employer pays at least 50% of the cost. This credit is available for the first two years the business is located in an enterprise zone. 

  • EZ – Research and Development Tax Credit: Businesses conducting research and development may earn a 3% tax credit on the increase in such expenditures as compared to that of the prior 2 years.  

  • EZ – Vacant Commercial Building Rehabilitation: Encourages redevelopment of vacant commercial property with a 25% credit for the cost of rehabilitation of a building that is at least 20 years old and has been completely vacant for at least 2 years. The credit is limited to $50,000 per building.

  • EZ – Commercial Vehicle Investment Tax Credit: Investment in commercial trucks, truck tractors, tractors, or semitrailers, and associated parts registered in CO and based and used in an EZ may earn the taxpayer a 1.5% credit. Learn more.

  • EZ – Contribution Projects: Enterprise Zone (EZ) Contribution Projects encourage community participation and public-private partnerships to revitalize EZs. EZ Administrators may propose projects for EZ Project status to implement the economic development plan of that specific EZ. EZ Administrators work with their communities to bring forward proposals that support local economic improvements, result in job creation/retention and business expansion, and have the support of the community. Colorado taxpayers may earn a 25% state income tax credit by contributing to targeted efforts. Learn more

The Enterprise Zone along the West Colfax Corridor in Jefferson County (Zone 17) has a number of approved Contribution Projects.

Recent Changes to Enterprise Zone

The Colorado Enterprise Zone (EZ) program is a program that encourages job creation and capital investment in targeted economic areas. The program provides tax credits to businesses and projects to promote and encourage economic development activities. Enterprise Zone benefits are aimed at encouraging business attraction, retention and growth. Lakewood is in the Jefferson County Enterprise Zone. All the zones across the state were re-evaluated in 2015 and new boundaries were determined. The new boundaries went into effect January 1, 2016. Inclusion in the zone allows businesses and (in some instances) property owners to claim annual state income tax credits for such things as capital investments, hiring employees, research and development expenditures, and more.

To contact the Jefferson County Administrator for the Colorado Enterprise Zone program,

Zone 17: Jefferson County Enterprise Zone
Lisa Harper Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation 1667 Cole Blvd., #400 Golden, CO 80401 P: (720) 544-5502 E: 

EZ steps to claim your EZ tax credits:

  1. Verify that your address is located in an Enterprise Zone.

  2. Pre-certify your business to be eligible to claim credits.

  3. Claim your state income tax credits when you file.