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Community Renewal Good Stories - El Paso

Southwest Pizza Company Maximizes Benefit of EZ Wage Credits

El Paso, Texas, EZ

Of the many benefits and services available to businesses that hire EZ residents, wage credits are possibly the most rewarding for one simple reason: they tie directly to job creation and retention. In the El Paso EZ, one business taking full advantage of the wage credit and other EZ tax incentives is Pizza Properties, Ltd.

Pizza Properties owns and manages a number of Burger King and Peter Piper Pizza franchises in Texas and New Mexico. With 2,100 people in its employ in both full-and part-time positions, Pizza Properties takes a proactive approach to maximizing its net income. It relies on qualified tax advisors such as Net Profit, Inc., to research and file the appropriate paperwork on its behalf to help the company take advantage of wage credits whenever applicable.

According to Controller Jeanene Payen, a certified public accountant, Pizza Properties has a history of taking advantage of wage credits (which reduce income tax on a dollar-for-dollar basis) whenever they are available. Of the company's current employees, 253 either qualify at the present time or have qualified in the past for the EZ wage credit, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, or the WtW credit.

A business that is part of an industry with a high employee turnover rate, such as Pizza Properties, can find it an administrative burden to continually track employees to identify credit opportunities. This is why Pizza Properties enjoys working with entities such as Net Profit. "They make it so easy. They are responsible for verifying the qualifications of the individual employee and compiling the tax forms," said Payen.

Because Pizza Properties is noted for taking advantage of the EZ tax incentives, Payen was able to suggest that the El Paso EZ could help other businesses do the same by targeting information to potential employees. "I really think there is a lack of knowledge out there," Payen explains, adding that marketing the tax credits directly to residents could allow them to market themselves more effectively. The possibility of being able to use a tax credit could influence a company's hiring decision if all other applicant characteristics were equal.

For more information on the programs of the El Paso EZ, please contact Empowerment Zone Coordinator Isela Robison at (915) 541-4629.