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Monroe News: Parts of Monroe now labeled ‘Opportunity Zones’

April 20, 2018
Tim In The News

The U.S. Department of Treasury announced the designation of two U.S. Census tracts in the City of Monroe as Opportunity Zones. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created the zones as a preferential tax incentive tool to spur new investment in distressed communities throughout the country.

The first property is the area north of the river from the CSX railroad tracks west to almost Raisinville Rd. in Raisinville Township and north to the city line.

The property includes Telegraph Rd., Monroe Custer Airport and Munson Park.

The second property is along the Port of Monroe east of Kentucky Ave. to Lake Erie.

That parcel also stretches just south of E. Elm Ave. to the city limits.

The city submitted a third nomination that included the downtown, but it was not among the 288 tracts selected in Michigan.

Mark Cochran, economic development coordinator, said the city is pleased two of three nominations were selected.

“The census tracts designated represent two of our highest priority redevelopment areas in the city’s economic development strategy, including the Winchester and Orchard East neighborhoods, as well as the Telegraph Road corridor,” Cochran said. “While new and unique, the Opportunity Zone represents yet another incentive tool that can be combined with other resources in our economic development toolkit. Having tools like this available are crucial to us in our efforts to entice developers to invest in our community.”

The qualified opportunity zones retain the designation for 10 years.

The program provides a tax incentive for investors to reinvest in unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds dedicated to investing in the zones, a news release said.

Funds can be used to create new businesses, new commercial or residential real estate or infrastructure.

The IRS is currently working on guidance for the establishment of Opportunity Funds, which should be finalized by the end of May.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, recognized 15 zones within Michigan’s 7th Congressional District.

“The creation of these new Opportunity Zones is a promising tool to help spur greater economic development in communities that need it most,” Walberg said in a statement.

“By incentivizing new investment in these areas, we can pave the way for more job growth and generate new economic opportunities across our state,” he added. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already delivering positive results for Michigan workers and families and this program is another illustration of how the new tax law will help improve people’s lives.”

This article originally appeared in the April 19 edition of the Monroe News.