City hopes for 'Opportunity Zones' designation for economic development

City hopes for 'Opportunity Zones' designation for economic development
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro city officials are hopeful they will be able to pass along new tax incentives to future investors, but they have to wait and see if Gov. Asa Hutchinson chooses local areas for those tax breaks.

The governor is expected to designate the so-called Opportunity Zones by the end of the week.

Opportunity Zones are included in a new economic development program that Congress established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.

It allows each state's governor to designate low-income areas that would be eligible for special tax incentives for those who invest there.

"In the state of Arkansas, there are 337 census tracts that may qualify," Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Mark Young said.

Young said Jonesboro has multiple locations that may qualify for this designation.

Governor Hutchinson will choose 85 out of the 337 census tracts in the state that fit the qualifications.

Those incentives would be another tool for the chamber to encourage growth, Young said.

"It's a great economic development tool," Young said. "It really encourages investors to invest in a community and to invest some additional funds in a community. So we see this as a great opportunity for us in the future to encourage investment in key strategic areas across Jonesboro."

He said those tax breaks can make a good site look even better for a business.

"We're looking forward to understanding and knowing what opportunity zones we might have here," Young said.

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