May 18, 2018

Feds OK all 72 CT ‘opportunity zones’

map | Contributed
map | Contributed
The blue highlighted areas on the map depict Connecticut communities the state Department of Economic and Community Development pitched to the U.S. Treasury for eligibility as "Opportunity Zones."

Connecticut has won federal approval of its 72 "opportunity zones'' (OZs) statewide, making them eligible to lure tax-favored private investment to improve housing and jobs in the neediest areas, authorities say.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday announced the U.S. Treasury ratified all 72 OZs that were nominated by the state Department of Economic and Community Development and the state Department of Housing.

As previously reported, OZs stem directly from recent federal income-tax reform, which authorized formation of "opportunity funds.'' Fund investors can put up capital to leverage additional investment, in exchange for long-term federal tax deductions against future capital gains.

Qualified census tracts are those with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent of a median income that does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income.

"Since day one, my administration recognized the critical need to revitalize our cities and turn them into engines for economic growth," Malloy said in a statement. "Our urban centers are now ripe with potential, and the investments made possible through this program will further strengthen our resolve to foster growth in Connecticut cities. With these approvals today, we are pleased that all of Connecticut's opportunity zones can now move forward."

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said several Hartford neighborhoods, in the north and south ends, and Asylum Hill, were among the designated OZs.

"We look forward to working with partners to market our Opportunity Zones to investors, and we plan to be very aggressive in using this new economic development incentive,'' Bronin said in a statement.

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