May Supports Bedford's Nomination As An Opportunity Zone

Coatesville Nominated as Qualified Opportunity Zone

Reading, West Reading nominated for business development funding

The program provides federal tax incentives for investment in distressed communities over the next 10 years. Only one of the two was selected by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

The Baker administration and municipal officials across MA expect to hear from the federal government within 30 days about their newly-submitted request for approval of 138 zones where new federal tax incentives could be used to spark investment in rural and low-income communities. A host of Baton Rouge-area officials and groups showed interest in landing the designation for various census tracts, including East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, Congressman Cedric Richmond, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and the Research Park Corp. To be eligible, census tracts must have poverty rates of at least 20 percent, or median family incomes of no more than 80 percent of the statewide or metropolitan area averages.

Upon approval of the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, these Opportunity Zones will cover over 1,000 square miles and more than 500,000 Hoosier residences. The map below shows all qualified Census Tracts in the state. The Treasury is expected to certify the new zones under the national incentive program in May.

Other than census-tract eligibility and the quick turnaround to submit designations for approval, details on the program have been hard to come by.

As stated in the Governor's press release: "The Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that passed last December included provisions for a new revitalization tool, the Opportunity Zone and Opportunity Fund. Amazon could engineer it into an investment vehicle for HQ2".

The location of each Opportunity Zone may be a factor in deciding whether to make an investment in an Opportunity Fund. The Delaware sites include a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial properties that are well-positioned to compete for the significant investment needed in low-income communities across the state.

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What is an Opportunity Fund and Applicable Investment Assets?

Earlier this year, May sent a letter to Holcomb requesting Bedford be considered for the initiative. Two California opportunity zones ended up overlapping with parts of Redwood City.

Six of the nine contiguous Opportunity Zone areas do overlap with pre-existing Downtown Development Districts, but are much larger.

She hopes the opportunity zones could address the lack of growth in her area. In the meantime, I will be working with lending institutions to set up Opportunity Zone Funds.

In and around Dallas, where 53 census tracts received opportunity-zone designation, local experts are not so keen on the potential benefits.

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