Flint and Genesee County are among areas in 18 states approved for federal support that could help boost job creation and economic improvement.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service approved Michigan’s application for Opportunity Zones, communities eligible for tax benefits designed to improve the quality of life for their residents by attracting investment.
Pontiac is the other Michigan city approved for Opportunity Zone designation, which also was green-lit in cities on the east and west coasts, in the Midwest, and as far away as American Samoa and the Virgin Island territories.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. presented census data representing Flint and Genesee County, along with Pontiac and Oakland County, helping Gov. Rick Snyder support the state’s application.
“These zones have the potential to help Michiganders take advantage of the full economic development potential in all corners of the state,” Snyder says. “This is a unique opportunity for investors and promising news for eligible communities.”
Geared toward inviting corporate development and attracting private resources to distressed and recovering areas, the Opportunity Fund most benefits investors who can sustain their efforts in Opportunity Zones for, at least, 10 years. The preferential tax initiative can be used to start a new business, develop commercial or residential real estate, or support infrastructure. The program also can be used to invest in existing businesses that quality.
“The benefits can be combined with other incentives, such as New Market Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and historic rehabilitation tax credit, adding a valuable tool for economic and community development,” says Earl Poleski, MSHDA executive director.
Michigan is set to apply through the U.S. Treasury to establish an Opportunity Fund to help support Zone initiatives in Flint and Pontiac.
Lead image courtesy Dept. of Agriculture: Flickr/Creative Commons