'Opportunity Zone' offers potential for downtown

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Cleveland Mayor Kevin Brooks said during a recent presentation that a sector of the city’s downtown area meets the requirements as a qualified Opportunity Zone, where investors can benefit from tax breaks offered through the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The mayor’s remarks were made during the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club’s weekly meeting held at Elks Lodge No. 1944.

Brooks said the tax incentives will benefit the entire Whirlpool and Old Woolen Mill area downtown, as well as South Lee Highway, adding that they are the sole areas in Bradley County that qualify for the tax incentives.

According to the United States Internal Revenue Service, qualified Opportunity Zones “are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country and U.S. possessions by providing tax benefits to investors who invest eligible capital into these communities."

Taxpayers may "defer tax on eligible capital gains by making an appropriate investment in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and meeting other requirements.”

Brooks lauded the program.

“It is incredible what the government is now giving developers who take a risk and help an underdeveloped area designated as an Opportunity Zone based on household income and need,” he said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the city.”

The first set of opportunity zones, covering parts of 18 states, were designated in 2018.

Under the program, “investors can defer tax on any prior gains invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund until the earlier of the date on which the investment in a QOF is sold or exchanged, or December 31, 2026.”  

During his recent State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump praised the program stating that “jobs and investments are pouring into 9,000 previously neglected neighborhoods thanks to opportunity zones."

“Wealthy people and companies are pouring money into poor neighborhoods or areas that haven’t seen investment in many decades," the president said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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