Fifteen Census Tracts Recommended For Federal Opportunity Zones

Mar 27, 2018
Last week, the State of Ohio recommended that 15 areas/census tracts in Mahoning and Trumbull counties be considered for federal Opportunity Zones, which could lead to new investment in our community via a program that is designed to drive long-term capital to distressed communities across the country.

Last week, the State of Ohio recommended that 15 areas/census tracts in Mahoning and Trumbull counties be considered for federal Opportunity Zones, which could lead to new investment in our community via a program that is designed to drive long-term capital to distressed communities across the country. 

The chosen census tracts include: Warren – Downtown, Dana Street/Golden Triangle, RG/BDM and NW quadrant; Girard – 422 Corridor; Youngstown – Downtown, 422 Corridor, Andrews Avenue/Northside industrial, Salt Springs area, Poland Avenue south of Performance Place/Hazelton and McGuffey; Campbell – Casey Industrial Park area; Struthers – Downtown/ CASTLO Industrial Park; Lowellville; and Austintown – Meridian area. (Click here to access a map showing these tracts.)

They were among 21 tracts submitted to the state jointly by representatives of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Western Reserve Port Authority, City of Youngstown, City of Warren, Trumbull County Planning Commission and Youngstown State University.

A provision in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created the Opportunity Zone Program and authorizes the U.S. Treasury to certify Opportunity Funds, or “O Funds,” that will be created to pool and deploy investment capital in Opportunity Zones for eligible purposes. U.S. investors can receive a temporary tax deferral and other tax benefits when they reinvest unrealized capital gains into O Funds for a minimum of five years. Through the program, every state can designate a certain number of Opportunity Zones, the vast majority of which will be low-income census tracts.

James Dignan, president & CEO of the Regional Chamber, said, “We were ecstatic to learn Gov. John Kasich nominated 15 of the 21 low-income census tracts submitted to the state for consideration. Our hope is that these O Funds will activate passive holdings by connecting investors to investment opportunities in our Opportunity Zones in the Valley. This program offers a unique way to encourage investment in areas that are traditionally under-invested in.”

Each of the census tracts submitted were reviewed by the state for targeted development areas, properties that are currently available, areas that experience a lot of activity and optimum site selection criteria.

The State of Ohio submitted its maximum number of census tracts, 320, which was the allowed 25 percent of what was eligible. The U.S. Treasury has 30 days to consider submissions.