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Kentucky Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

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Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority Direct Loan Program (KEDFA):
Provides business loans at below-market interest rates (subject to the availability of state revolving loan funds) for fixed asset financing for agribusiness, tourism, industrial ventures or the service industry. Retail projects are not eligible. KEDFA may participate in projects with loans ranging from $25,000 to $500,000.
Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB):
Issued by state and local governments in Kentucky, they can be used to finance manufacturing projects and their warehousing areas, major transportation and communication facilities, most health care facilities and mineral extraction and processing projects.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG):
Federally funded low interest loans made available through the Department for Local Government.
Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act (KIRA):
Investments in the rehabilitation of manufacturing or coal mining and processing operations that are in imminent danger of permanently closing or that have closed temporarily may qualify for tax credits. An eligible company shall also include one that has closed but resumes mining operations. Eligible entities include manufacturing companies that save or create 25 jobs and coal mining and processing companies that intend to employ a minimum of 500 persons and have a raw production of at least three million tons from the economic revitalization project facility.
SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program:
The Cabinet will match, on a competitive basis, Phase 1 and Phase 2 federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards received by Kentucky high-tech small businesses and those willing to become Kentucky-based businesses. This includes matching Phase 1 federal awards up to $150,000 to support the exploration of the technical merit or feasibility of an idea or technology, and up to $500,000 of federal Phase 2 awards, which support full-scale research and development.
Commonwealth SEED Capital, LLC (CSC):
An independent, non-profit fund that makes debt or equity investments in early-stage Kentucky business entities to facilitate the commercialization of innovative ideas and technologies. CSC invests in companies that have a significant Kentucky presence, the prospect for substantial growth, and the potential to generate an appropriate rate of return. Investments are typically made in these specified innovation areas : health and human development; information technology and communications; bioscience; environmental and energy technologies; and materials science and advanced manufacturing.
Kentucky Enterprise Fund and Rural Innovation Fund:
Provides seed-stage capital to Kentucky-based companies that are commercializing a technology-based product or process. The funds exist to stimulate private investment in Kentucky-based technology companies with high growth potential. The Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation administers the funds under contract with the Council on Postsecondary Education.
Kentucky New Energy Ventures (KNEV) Fund:
Provides seed stage capital to support the development and commercialization of alternative fuel and renewable energy products, processes and services in Kentucky. The funds exist to stimulate private investment in Kentucky-based technology companies with high growth potential. KNEV makes grants of $30,000 and investments ranging from $250,000 to $750,000+. Qualified companies must be Kentucky-based and funds are to be used for business development activities.
Small Business Loan Program:
Designed to help small businesses acquire funding. A small business must be engaged in manufacturing, agribusiness or service and technology. Loan funds may be used to acquire land and buildings, purchase and install equipment or for working capital. The minimum loan amount is $15,000 and the maximum is $100,000. The approved company must create one new full-time job within one year of the loan closing. KEDFA can fund up to 100% of the project costs and the loan can be used in conjunction with other lenders. The term of the loan can range from three to 10 years.
Kentucky Microenterprise Loan Program:
Provides technical assistance and business loans, up to $50,000, to entrepreneurs in 25 Kentucky counties that formerly had no access to such a program. Funds may be used for, among other purposes, working capital, equipment purchases and inventory purchases.
High-Tech Investment/Construction Pools:
Provides funds to help further the commercialization of a product, process or other innovation. Incentives awarded are in the form of forgivable loans, with the amount of the loan primarily based on the applicant company’s projected high-tech job creation.
Bluegrass State Skills Corporation Grant Reimbursement Program:
Provides matching grant funds for customized business and industry-specific training programs.
TIF Loan Support Program:
Any agency with a Tax Increment Financing Signature Project approved by the former Tax Increment Financing Commission and which executed its tax incentive agreement prior to January 1, 2008 may apply for The Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Loan Support Program. The Loan Support Program facilitates a supplemental reserve fund to cover debt service related to the bond financing of the TIF project.
Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund:
Provides incentives for innovative proposals that increase net farm income, stimulates markets for Kentucky agricultural products, creates new ways to add value to Kentucky agricultural products and explores new opportunities for Kentucky farmers.
Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation:
Provides capital access for agricultural diversification and infrastructure projects. Participating Loan Programs include : Agricultural Infrastructure, Beginning Farmer, Diversification through Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness and Large Animal Veterinary Programs. Direct Loan Programs include the Agricultural Process Loan Program and the Coordinated Value-Added Assistance Loan Program.
Tourism Development Act:
Provides developers of approved new or expanding tourism projects the ability to recover up to 25% of the project’s development costs over a 10-year term. Projects including, but not limited to, lodging facilities constructed on state park, federal park or national forest lands are eligible to recover up to 50% of the development costs over a 20-year term.

Tax Incentives

Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) Program:
Provides income tax credits and wage assessments to new and existing agribusinesses, regional and national headquarters, manufacturing companies, and non-retail service or technology related companies that locate or expand operations in Kentucky. Projects locating in certain counties may qualify for enhanced incentives.
Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA) :
For new or expanded service or technology, manufacturing, or tourism attraction project in Kentucky. KEIA provides a refund of Kentucky sales and use tax paid by approved companies for building and construction materials permanently incorporated as an improvement to real property. It is also available for Kentucky sales and use tax refunds for eligible equipment used for research and development and data processing equipment.
Kentucky Reinvestment Act (KRA):
Provides tax credits to any existing Kentucky company engaged in manufacturing and related functions on a permanent basis for a reasonable period of time that will be investing in eligible equipment and related costs of at least $2.5 million.
Incentives for Energy Independence Act (IEIA):
For companies engaging in the creation of new, alternative forms of energy, incentives may be available through the IEIA program, including corporate income tax credits, wage assessments and reimbursement of sales and use taxes paid on tangible personal property over a period of time up to 25 years. Advance disbursement may also be available during the construction phase of an approved IEIA project.
Kentucky Environmental Stewardship Act (KESA):
For companies manufacturing products that have a substantial positive impact on human health and the environment. Companies with projects approved under KESA must have at least $5 million in eligible costs and can potentially recover up to 25% of the project’s fixed asset cost and 100% of employee skills training. The tax incentive is available for recovery over a 10-year period.
Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit (KSBTC):
Program designed to encourage small business growth and job creation by providing a nonrefundable tax credit to eligible businesses hiring one or more eligible individuals and investing at least $5,000 in qualifying equipment or technology. With certain exceptions, most for-profit businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are considered eligible for this program. The KSBIC program is limited to allocating a total of $3 million in tax credits per state fiscal year.
Bluegrass State Skills Corporation Skills Training Investment Credit:
Provides credit against Kentucky income tax to existing businesses that sponsor occupational or skills upgrade training programs for the benefit of their employees.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF):
A tool to use future gains in taxes to finance the current improvements that will create those gains. The state participates with local governments and eligible agencies in three TIF programs:
  1. the Commonwealth Participation Program for State Real Property Ad Valorem Tax Revenues,
  2. the Signature Project Program, and
  3. the Commonwealth Participation Program for Mixed-Use Redevelopment in Blighted Urban Areas.
Local Redevelopment TIF:
Available for use to redevelop blighted areas into mixed use development by using the incremental additional local taxes such as property or occupational taxes realized as a result of the development. The community or agency can request state participation in this program with certain additional requirements.
Local Vacant Land TIF:
Available to develop vacant land by using the additional incremental local taxes, such as property or occupational taxes, realized as a result of the new development (example: construction of infrastructure at a local industrial park). State tax increment is not available for this type of development area.
Kentucky Investment Fund ACT (KIFA):
Provides tax credits to individuals and companies that invest in approved venture capital funds. Investors in KIFA approved funds are entitled to a 40% credit against Kentucky individual or corporate income tax or Kentucky corporate license tax. KEDFA approves investment funds and fund managers.
Kentucky Film Incentive:
Provides qualifying applicants the ability to recover up to 20% of qualified expenditures through a refundable income tax credit. Qualifying applicants must invest a minimum of $50,000 for documentaries and national touring Broadway shows, $200,000 for commercials, $500,000 for full-length films.

Updated 12/18/14


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