Complete the eligibility checklist. If you can answer yes to all the questions, your business may be eligible for the program.
Businesses must be located within a city or cities in Greater Minnesota. Agricultural processing facilities can be located outside a Greater Minnesota city or cities.
Greater Minnesota is the area outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The seven metro counties include Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington. However, the cities of Northfield, Hanover, New Prague and Rockford are included in this definition of Greater Minnesota. The Twin Cities metropolitan area is defined by Minnesota Statutes section 473.121, subdivision 2.
Agricultural processing facilities transform, package, sort, or grade livestock or livestock products, agricultural commodities, or plants or plant products into goods that are used for intermediate or final consumption, including goods for nonfood use.
To be eligible, businesses must have been operating in Greater Minnesota for at least one year. This includes any of the business' facilities at any location in Greater Minnesota.
These types of businesses are not eligible for the program:
A) Those primarily engaged in making retail sales to purchasers who are physically present at the businesses location or locations in greater Minnesota
B) Those serving as a public utility, as defined in Minnesota Statutes section 336B.01
C) Those primarily engaged in lobbying, gambling, entertainment, professional sports, political consulting, leisure, hospitality, or professional services provided by attorneys, accountants, business consultants, physicians, or health care consultants
D) Those not participating in a traded sector. Companies participating in a traded sector sell a significant amount of goods or services in non-local markets.
Businesses need to expand their current FTE employment at the facility by two employees or 10 percent of current employment, whichever is greater, within three years. One FTE equals 2,080 hours of paid time per year.
Yes. Businesses must agree to pay each employee at the expansion facility compensation -- which includes cash wages, plus benefits not mandated by law -- of at least 120 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four. This rate is adjusted annually and must be maintained for the seven-year certification period. This requirement is not effective until 60 days prior to the business submitting its first sales tax refund claim.
For 2015, 120 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four is $29,100 per year, which is equivalent to $13.99 per hour based on a 2080 hour work year. The annual amount is reduced proportionally for employees who only work part of the year. This rate is adjusted annually and must be maintained for the seven-year certification period.
Yes, compensation includes cash wages and benefits not mandated by law, such as health insurance, life insurance, vacation time, etc. The employer portion of Social Security (FICA), unemployment insurance, Medicare, and the like are not included in compensation.
The compensation requirement applies to all employees located at the expansion facility. It does not apply to the business' employees at other locations.
All employees must be paid at least 120 percent of federal poverty level for a family of four before a business can submit a First Claim/Annual Report Form for a sales tax refund. This rate is adjusted annually and must be maintained for the 7-year certification period.
Businesses must file a copy of the application with the chief clerical office of the city in which the expansion facility is located. Agricultural processing facilities not located within the city limits in Greater Minnesota must file a copy of the application with the county auditor.
The business is required to insure that prevailing wages are paid on any construction or improvement projects. Prevailing wage information can be found at Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's website.