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Community Renewal Good Stories - Eastern Kentucky

Helping Kentucky Residents Help Themselves Through Tax Incentives

Eastern Kentucky, RC

The Eastern Kentucky RC (EKRC), which includes four southeastern Kentucky counties in the heart of Appalachia, made a commitment at the start of its designation to help residents become self-sufficient, employed people who take pride in themselves. Since it received its designation in January 2002, EKRC has been excited about helping local businesses take advantage of RC tax credits and deductions and about focusing efforts on empowering local residents.

EKRC formed a partnership with the Kentucky Department for Community-Based Services (DCBS) in early 2002 to inform residents about the RC employment credit, the WOTC, and the WtW credit. EKRC created a brochure titled How Residents Can Use the Renewal Community Tax Credits to Get a Job in the Eastern Kentucky Renewal Community, and DCBS distributes this brochure to local residents who are looking for jobs. DCBS refers those clients to the Owsley County Action Team (OCAT), which works with the local residents to explain how the employment credit can benefit local employers and also helps the residents determine whether they are eligible for the WOTC and WtW programs.

When residents are determined to be qualified for either of these programs, OCAT staff members first give them the forms that employers will need to use the tax credits, then teach them to complete the forms correctly. OCAT advises its clients to attach copies of these forms to all job applications.

EKRC staff members also provide assistance to RC residents, advising them to tell prospective employers within the four-county area about their RC residency and to remind these employers about the valuable tax benefits available for hiring RC residents. EKRC also gives copies of its marketing brochure to individuals who travel outside the RC to look for work, reminding them that employers located outside the RC can also claim the WOTC and WtW tax credits if employees meet certain eligibility criteria.

This marketing method has proven successful as EKRC has found that the more residents know about the incentives, the more their chances of finding employment improve. EKRC's marketing efforts can be reduced because residents apply their energies to promoting themselves. "This project helps residents feel confident about their chances to secure a job while at the same time helping us to market the tax incentives," said Susan Wilder, State director of the EKRC.

For more information on the EKRC, contact the Chairman of the Booneville/Owsley Industrial Authority, Ronnie Callaghan, at (606) 593-6800.