Economic Targets Areas (ETAs) and Economic Opportunity Areas (EOAs) are priority economic development areas as designated by the Commonwealth and municipality, respectively.  In order for a project to be eligible to receive an Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) Investment Tax Credit and/or a local property tax exemption, the property of the proposed expansion must be wholly located within and ETA and EOA, with the exception of projects classified as Enhanced Expansion Projects (see: EDIP Project Eligibility for more information).  

Economic Target Areas

An Economic Target Area (ETA) is a state designation based on income, unemployment and other economic characteristics of the area that enables a municipality to offer local tax incentives and allows businesses contemplating expanding with an ETA the ability to apply for the EDIP Investment Tax Credit.

Which communities are located within an existing Economic Target Area? Please reference the below resources and contact the municipality of interest to establish if a specific address or parcel number is located within the ETA. 

Qualifications of ETA Designation  
The area requested for designation as an Economic Target Area must:

  • Be comprised of three or more contiguous census tracts or one or more contiguous municipalities; and
  • Meet one of the following eleven requirements:

1.  Has unemployment rate that exceeds the statewide average by at least 25%, provided that such rates shall be based on the unemployment rates for the most recent four quarters for which data is available;

2.  Is located in a metropolitan area and at least 51% of the households in the area proposed for designation have household incomes that are below 80% of the median household income in the metropolitan area in which the area is located;

3.  Is not located in a metropolitan area and at least 51% of the households in the area proposed for designation have household incomes that are below 80% of the median household income in either the Commonwealth or a non-metropolitan area category established by the EACC;

4.  Has a poverty rate which is at least 20% higher than the average poverty rate for the Commonwealth based on the most recent statistics of the U.S. Census Bureau;

5.  The municipality in which the area is located has experienced a plant closing, permanent layoffs, or a military base closing resulting in the cumulative job loss of 2,000 or more within the four years prior to designation as an ETA;

6.  Is located in a community or labor market area with a distress factor greater than 1.33;

7.  Is owned by a state agency or authority, exceeds 50 acres and has, within ten years of the date of the ETA application, been used to manufacture or repair maritime vessels and is zoned for development or industrial use and is not being developed or used by such agency or authority;

8.   Has a commercial vacancy rate of 20% or more for the 12 month period preceding the application date;

9.   Has sited within it a generation facility, as defined pursuant to M.G.L. c. 164, § 1, which has a market value at the time of sale that is at least 50% less than its current net book value;

10.   Has sited within it a facility of at least 1,000,000 square feet that would qualify as an abandoned building under M.G.L. c. 63, § 38O; or

11.  Has sited within it a development project of at least 200 acres to be used for the establishment of a regional technology center with the capacity of supporting the build-out of 3,000,000 square feet of commercial or industrial space.

Economic Opportunity Areas

An Economic Opportunity Area (EOA) is a municipal designation of an area within an ETA that has been identified as having a need for increased economic development on the parcels. 

Qualifications of EOA Designation:
A municipal application for designation of an EOA must:

  • Request such designation for a minimum of  5 years and a maximum of 20 years;
  • Be wholly located within an ETA;
  • Must meet the definition of a "Blighted Open Area", "Decadent Area", or "Substandard Area" as defined in 402 CMR 2.03 ( EOA Criteria as Defined by CMR 2.03 pdf format of EOA Criteria as Defined by CMR 2.03 ); or is an area within which there has been a plant closing or permanent layoffs which have resulted in a cumulative job loss of 2,000 or more full-time employees within the previous four years; or has sited within it a generation facility, as defined pursuant to M.G.L. c. 164, § 1, which has a market value at the time of sale that is at least 50% less than its current net book value; and
  • Include a binding offer from the municipality to offer tax incentives on the designated area.