The U.S. Department of Commerce is currently seeking input and recommendations from the public to spur economic development in qualified opportunity zones and distressed areas in the country. The information was published in a press release by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) on September 3.
According to this press release, opportunity zones were created by U.S. President Donald Trump through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The goal was to increase economic development through tax incentives to investors in these economic areas.
These new zones were created with the goal of providing tax incentives and development to relegated communities that couldn’t rely on private capital and tax incentives alone. This new zones would create the necessary conditions to start long-term sustainable economic growth.
One of the problems that these zones have is related to the fact that even with private and public support, they have a labyrinth of rules, regulations and processes that make the whole process much more burdensome.
Through a Request for Information (RFI) notice, which was published on September 3rd in the Federal Register, the goal is to seek public input regarding how the Federal Government could align its economic development programs and resources. This would improve the quality of investments in these distressed communities, including the qualifying Opportunity Zones. It is worth to note, that written comments on must be submitted by October 18, 2019.
The press release explains that the Department of Commerce is requesting information from stakeholders that are currently supporting development in Opportunity Zones. That includes State, local and tribal officials and many other organizations such as nonprofits, philanthropic and many others.
With this initiative, the EDA is encouraging economic development partners to invest in these initiatives, enhance their ROI for business interests and encourage public and private partnerships to improve these distressed areas. With these comments received from interested parties, it will be possible for members of the community to understand how to improve these distressed economic areas.