Fifteen Census Tracts In Valley Approved For Federal Opportunity Zones

Apr 20, 2018
On Thursday the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service certified Opportunity Zones in five states—including Ohio—and one territory. Among Ohio’s approved census tracts are all of those that were recommended in the Valley.
On Thursday the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service certified Opportunity Zones in five states—including Ohio—and one territory. Among Ohio’s approved census tracts are all of those that were recommended in the Valley.

Yesterday’s approvals for Opportunity Zones in Alabama, Delaware, Missouri, Northern Marinas Islands, Ohio and Texas were the second round announced, with the first round of designations in 18 states announced on Monday. Thus far, nearly half of all of the Opportunity Zones across the country have been approved.

In Ohio, all 320 census tracts submitted by Gov. John Kasich’s administration for consideration to become “Opportunity Zones”— low-income areas where major investors would be incentivized by significantly reduced and deferred capital gains taxes—were approved. That number includes 15 census tracts in the Youngstown-Warren region: 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.)

James Dignan, president & CEO of the Regional Chamber, said, “The Chamber and our partners will make the most of this terrific opportunity to attract economic development projects to our communities most in need across the Valley. These Opportunity Zones will help strengthen and rebuild both rural and urban areas. Whether along the Mahoning River, throughout Warren’s neighborhoods, or in the heart of Youngstown, these zones will help to spur investment, growth and community development.”

As a result of this little-known federal incentive program tucked into the tax cut bill passed by Congress in December, capital investors can create private-sector investment vehicles called Opportunity Funds. In order to qualify, they must invest at least 90 percent of their capital in Opportunity Zones. The investors are then encouraged to invest their large amounts of unrealized capital gains into these zones by having the gains taxes deferred, reduced or eliminated.