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Local & State

Tax law opens investment window in low-income neighborhoods
US approves Opportunity Zone in Charlotte
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2018 8:27 am
by Herbert L. White

The U.S. Treasury has designated an Opportunity Zone encompassing Charlotte's low-income neighborhoods for capital gains breaks in exchange for new investment.

Low-income communities in north and west Charlotte have been designated for capital gains breaks in exchange for new investment.

The U.S. Treasury created so-called Opportunity Zones across the country, including 252 in North Carolina, as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Donald Trump last year. The Charlotte zone encompasses communities between I-277 and I-85 west to Wilkinson Boulevard, Freedom Drive and Billy Graham Parkway. The northern portion encompasses communities along Sugar Creek Road, Old Concord Road and North Tryon Street.

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C, said the Opportunity Zones create new incentives for investment that will boost jobs, entrepreneurship, and improve the local economy.

“In the period after the Great Recession, we saw that millions of Americans were left behind in the recovery due to job growth and economic opportunities being concentrated in select areas of the country,” he said. “There is nowhere more evident than North Carolina, as the rural and urban divide continues to grow and millions of North Carolinians are left behind. The creation of these Opportunity Zones in the tax reform legislation passed last year will incentivize critical investments in these communities in North Carolina and across the country so all Americans have economic opportunities no matter their location.”

North Carolina officials recommended the low-income census tracts among more than 1,000 eligible areas in April and Treasury approved them on May 18. The areas have a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater or family income at or below 80 percent of the area median income from 2011-15.

More than 1.1 million people live in North Carolina’s Opportunity Zones, including 45,000 families with children in poverty and 50,000 businesses.

Over $580 million in public and private investments were made in the areas over the past five years.


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