Alliance welcomes Opportunity Zones and encourages long-term investments in four sections of city
The Charleston Area Alliance recently worked with the City of Charleston to secure Opportunity Zone status for four tracts in Charleston – Downtown, the East End, near the West Side/Elk City, and Kanawha City. Through this community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, long-term investments will be encouraged and driven to these areas of the city.
“We worked hand-in-hand with the City of Charleston to identify and recommend areas of Charleston that could benefit from this federal program,” said Susie Salisbury, Vice President of Community Development at the Charleston Area Alliance. “The Alliance welcomes this new opportunity and encourages long-term investments in these Opportunity Zones that will pay dividends – and help realize the great potential in our communities.”
The Opportunity Zone program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing in Opportunity Zones. If they keep their investments in an Opportunity Fund for 10 years, they will not be required to pay any capital gains taxes. Investors will also expect a return on their investments, allowing for the use of equity – instead of debt – to make projects a reality.
The program uses low-income community census tracts as the basis for determining eligible areas. The Alliance and the City presented tracts that have significant commercial development potential to Governor Jim Justice for federal approval. He and U.S. Senator Shelley More Capito recently announced that the following four tracts in Charleston were certified as Opportunity Zones by the U.S. Department of Treasury:
- Downtown Central Business District (Elk River to Brooks Street and Kanawha River to Railroad tracks);
- Warehouse/East End (north of Washington Street to Piedmont and Brooks to Greenbrier);
- Near West Side/Elk City (south of Washington Street west to Kanawha River and Elk River to Park Avenue); and,
- Kanawha City (44th Street south of MacCorkle to east City limits).