Tuesday, March 13, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
An area lawmaker is requesting that Gov. Bruce Rauner consider Maywood for a new federal tax incentive that its proponents say could lure jobs and economic development to distressed communities.
State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) announced Tuesday that he has formally requested that Rauner nominate Maywood as one of the Qualified Opportunity Zones in Illinois.
According to the Economic Innovation Group, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates on behalf of investors and entrepreneurs, the Opportunity Zones are local-income census tracts that would be targeted for investment by Opportunity Funds.
“Opportunity Funds are private sector investment vehicles that invest at least 90 percent of their capital in Opportunity Zones,” according to EIG’s website. “U.S. investors currently hold trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains in stocks and mutual funds alone — a significant untapped resource for economic development.
“Opportunity Funds provide investors the chance to put that money to work rebuilding the nation’s left-behind communities,” EIG adds. “The fund model will enable a broad array of investors to pool their resources in Opportunity Zones, increasing the scale of investments going to underserved areas.”
In a statement he released on March 13, Welch explained that a new tax incentive was created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted last December, for “investors who invest gains” into Opportunity Zone Funds.
“Investors will then be eligible to sell investments free of capital gains taxes and could also receive a tax break on untaxed capital gains rolled into an investment located within an Opportunity Zone,” Welch stated, adding that the new tax mechanism “is expected to increase economic development exponentially.”
Governors are required to submit to the U.S. Treasury a list of communities they’ve selected to nominate to become Opportunity Zones in their states by March 21. The amount of nominations is limited to 25 percent of the total amount of low-income communities within the state.
According to an EIG interactive map, all of south Maywood is eligible to become an Opportunity Zone, as are significant parts of Bellwood, Broadview and Melrose Park.
A map produced by the Economic Innovation Group showing qualified Opportunity Zone eligibility for areas throughout the country. Deep purple, light purple and yellow indicate areas that are directly eligible, eligible by contiguity and not eligible, respectively. Gray areas indicate insufficient data. | EIG
“With these new changes in federal tax law, Governor Rauner has a huge opportunity to show that he cares about bringing game-changing economic development to the Village of Maywood and the surrounding areas,” said Welch.
“With this designation from Governor Rauner, [Maywood] will be much more attractive to investors bringing new economic development and creating jobs for people who live right here in the community,” he added. VFP
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