New enterprise zone plan on way to Congress
Boston — A new enterprise zone package - proposing such unorthodox ideas as community-owned development groups, incentives to employees as well as small businesses, displacement and sweat-equity provisions, and seed capital for new businesses - should reach Congress within ''a week or so.''
Polishing up a draft bill are Sen. Gary Hart (D) of Colorado and Reps. Charles B. Rangel (D) of New York and Parren J. Mitchell (D) of Maryland.
The proposal has ''ingredients'' acceptable to boosters and the White House, says Mark Frazier, director of a Sabre Foundation research team that produced a two-volume ''Sourcebook on Enterprise Zones.'' Backers say the bill could emerge from committee cobwebs to passage by the end of 1982.
The conservative Heritage Foundation, the National Conference of Black Mayors , and the National Coalition for Enterprise Zones support the plan, saying it is ''the only game in town.''
Features sought by advocates, Frazier says, include:
* Neighborhood involvement, especially in easing fear of criminal activity. Crime is of ''greater concern'' to prospective entrepreneurs than taxes. Investors would support house watches, block patrols, and other community efforts to thwart crime.
* Ownership opportunity to zone residents, in businesses ranging from a security firm or garbage collection business to a community development corporation.
* ''Equity expensing.'' Often called ''safe harbor leasing,'' it offers firms immediate tax incentives on enterprise zone investments.
Thirteen states already have passed enterprise zone laws, and ''hundreds'' of cities are preparing to meet state and federal requirements.