City of Surprise Assistance Programs
Competitive Advantage to locating in Surprise, AZ
The Surprise City Council actively supports high employment projects, and city staff is skilled at utilizing assistance programs to meet the critical needs of incoming projects through the following tools:
Development projects that provide benefits such as employment, capital investment and new tax revenue to the city may be considered for development assistance funding. Funding may be used for purposes such as public infrastructure improvements and permitting & engineering fees.
Foreign Trade Zone No. 277
The City of Surprise is located within the Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone No. 277 which offers both federal benefits and up to a 75% reduction on Arizona Real and Personal Property Taxes. The City of Surprise partners with the Western Maricopa Coalition (WESTMARC), which is a public-private partnership of the 15 communities, the business community and the educational sector in the West Valley of Greater Phoenix, to facilitate the activation of the Foreign Trade Zone within the City of Surprise.
The city has experience in assisting businesses in obtaining an FTZ Designation and recently worked with IRIS USA in establishing their FTZ designation for their 400,000+ square foot manufacturing facility in the city’s Southwest Railplex industrial district. The city worked with the company during the designation process and coordinated efforts directly with the company, site selector, WESTMARC and the designated FTZ consultant to file the appropriate applications.
5-Day Building Permit Program
The Self-Certification Permit Program, also known as the 5-Day Building Permit Program, illustrates how the City of Surprise is committed to enhancing customer service for our building community. The program eliminates the plan review fee for Licensed Design Professionals certified with the City of Phoenix and provides a faster permit process for eligible projects, allowing a permit to be issued within five business days.
Interim Office Space
The city of Surprise may provide interim office space at its 60,000 square foot AZ TechCelerator business incubator to businesses entering the market. This helps to accommodate business start-up operations, hiring & recruitment, and training needs while the planning and construction of a new facility is underway.
Numerous companies in Surprise have utilized the temporary office space and have found it to be highly beneficial to establishing their new facility in our city. RioGlass Solar, Gestamp Solar and IRIS USA have each utilized this program during construction of their manufacturing facilities in the city. Medical projects such as Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital and Mainstreet, a transitional care property, have also utilized the program successfully.
New businesses entering the Surprise market can benefit from the support of city staff and engagement in city-hosted job fairs in order to create awareness and assist in recruitment efforts.
Surprise is home to Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC), a public school district dedicated to providing innovative Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to local businesses. The future 18-acre campus is another amenity and service that businesses locating in our city will be able to utilize in order to further support workforce development needs.
International and Start-Up Assistance
Global Concierge Services Program
As the most stable commercial market in the world, international companies are increasingly looking at the United States to expand their operations. The City of Surprise offers Global Concierge Services, a robust program dedicated to helping international locates achieve success. Companies are able to get the support they need to start-up in the United States through the use of secure, government-owned office space at the city’s business incubator; plus, they have access to international business experts who can assist in navigating issues like international patents, work visas, local business licenses, incorporating in the U.S. and other issues unique to foreign locates.
- AZ TechCelerator Global Concierge Brochure - English
- AZ TechCelerator Global Concierge Brochure - French
- AZ TechCelerator Global Concierge Brochure - German
The city can facilitate introductions to its network of financial institutions and investors in the Greater Phoenix market. These introductions can help guide international clients and advanced start-ups to resources that may potentially put them on a path to be better positioned for capital investments.
Surprise Heritage District
The Surprise Heritage District (SHD) is a zoning district that regulates properties in the city’s Original Town Site (OTS), which is bounded North-South by Bell Rd and Greenway Rd and East-West by El Mirage Rd and Dysart Rd. The SHD is intended to aid in revitalization of the OTS while preserving historical character and a unique sense of place.
Adopted under Ord 2016-14, the City’s Infill Incentive District provides financial incentives to promote both residential and commercial development that will aid in the revitalization of the Original Town Site. In order to be eligible, properties within the OTS will now be required to have one of the optional overlay zones, either SHD-RO or SHD-CO. If the property qualifies, the available incentive and procedure to obtain it will be determined by the type of project: residential or commercial.
- New residential development on parcels zoned either SHD-RO or SHD-CO shall receive a 100% waiver of the City of Surprise Development Impact Fees
- New, expanding qualifying commercial development may request a 100% waiver of Building Plan Review, Building Permit, and City of Surprise Development Impact Fees at the approval of City Council
View the full list of benefits at the Surprise Heritage District.
Arizona Incentives, Programs and Grant Opportunities
Arizona has lowered taxes, streamlined regulations, and established a suite of incentives to support corporate growth and expansion. The Arizona Competitiveness Package, groundbreaking legislation adopted in 2011, makes it easier for existing Arizona companies to prosper and establishes Arizona as one of the most desirable places for expanding companies to do business. Give your company a competitive edge by utilizing Arizona’s incentives, programs and grants.
The Quality Jobs tax credit offers up to $9,000 of Arizona income or premium tax credits spread over a three-year period for each net new quality job. Read More
The Qualified Facility program offers a refundable income tax credit to eligible companies making a Capital Investment to establish or expand a Qualified Facility. The goal is to stimulate the creation or expansion of manufacturing facilities, including manufacturing-related research and development or headquarters facilities. Read More
Computer Data Center (CDC)
CDC provides Transaction Privilege Tax and Use Tax exemptions at the state, county and local levels, on qualifying purchases of CDC Equipment. Read More
Research & Development
The R&D tax credit provides an Arizona income tax credit for increased research and development activities conducted in this state. Read More
The Angel Investment tax credit provides credits to investors who make capital investments in small businesses certified by the Arizona Commerce Authority. Read More
Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Renewable Energy tax credit provides tax credits to companies in renewable energy industries who are expanding or locating in Arizona. The program offers two benefits: up to a 10% refundable income tax credit and up to a 75% reduction on real and personal property taxes. Read More
Commercial/Industrial Solar Energy tax credit provides an Arizona income tax credit for the installation of solar energy devices at Arizona business facilities. Read More
Accelerates depreciation schedules for prospective acquisitions of commercial personal property. Read More
Lease Excise is a redevelopment tool to initiate development by reducing a project's operating costs by replacing the real property tax with an excise tax. Read More
Sales Tax Exemptions for Manufacturing
The Sales Tax Exemption for Machinery and Equipment is a sales tax exemption for various machinery or equipment. Read More
View the full list of Arizona Commerce Authority incentive programs and grant opportunities.