President Reagan has moved enterprise-zone legislation to the front burner. He supports the enterprise-zone employment and development bill, submitted to both the House (HR 1955) and the Senate (S 863), one of three proposals before Congress.
The Reagan bill proposes:
* Reduction of taxes for investors within zones. This would eliminate federal capital-gains taxes, and encourage state and local governments to cut their own taxes in these areas.
* Tax credits to those in zones. This would provide a personal income-tax credit for wages earned in zones, employer credit for hiring zone (disadvantaged) workers on a seven-year sliding scale (50 percent for the first three years, declining 10 percent during each of the next four), employer credits for 10 percent of enterprise-zone payrolls.
* Industrial development bonds. The Reagan administration is attempting to do away with this type of bond, which is tax-exempt. Enterprise-zone legislation would guarantee that these bonds would remain available in the zone communities.
The other two bills include ''expensing'' the funding needed to provide a cash flow or additional financing to businesses in an enterprise zone - financing not included in the Reagan proposal. It is reported that the President would ''accept'' expensing as an amendment or separate bill.
All three bills promise 75 enterprise zones in three years, with possibly 25 to be assigned to rural areas. They require that local and state governments jointly request enterprise-zone designations. Currently 17 states have approved the zone idea.
Sen. Robert Dole (R) of Kansas, once cool to zones, says the Senate will pass a zone bill ''before midyear.''