CEDAR RAPIDS — Three core Cedar Rapids neighborhoods and four areas in Johnson County could get a boost in their development from a new federal tax incentive.
On Friday, Gov. Kim Reynolds nominated three Census tracts in Cedar Rapids, which include downtown, Kingston Village and the New Bohemia district, for the federal Opportunity Zones program, a new incentive that emerged from the federal tax bill signed into law late last year. She also nominated two tracts in Coralville that include Iowa River Landing, Coral Ridge Mall the city’s southeast side. In Iowa City, she nominated areas that include a Procter & Gamble facility, Mercer Park and the former Sycamore Mall, now Iowa City Marketplace.
Opportunity Zones are intended to incentivize development in areas with lower incomes or higher poverty rates by giving investors in those areas a break on any capital gains tax they would have to pay.
Fifty-five communities sent in applications for 108 Census tracts for the program. Iowa could only select 62 to send to the U.S. Treasury Department for approval.
Census tracts were eligible for the Opportunity Zones program if they had a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher, or median family income that was less than 80 percent of the local area’s median income.
The Gazette will have more on the Opportunity Zones program and what Cedar Rapids, Coralville and Iowa City hope to do with their designations in this Sunday’s Business 380.
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