Tax Reform Benefits Coming to ‘Opportunity Zones’ in America
‘[T]he best way to help the rural areas, small cities, and suburbs left behind by Obama-era policies is to get the government’s foot off the brake and let free enterprise flourish. It’s to make those communities attractive places to do business, open new facilities, and create good-paying jobs. This is exactly what tax reform does, by deferring capital gains taxes on income that’s invested in distressed areas that receive this “opportunity zone” designation.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the benefits Americans across the country continue to see from tax reform:
‘We’ve been talking for months about the ways tax reform is helping to jump-start the economy, bolster family budgets, and make life better for millions of Americans. Just a few months in, many such stories have already been front-page news: the tax reform bonuses, raises, and benefits for four million workers and counting; the new investments and new hiring from businesses large and small; the bigger paychecks for middle-class Americans as the IRS withholds less of their money.
“But other exciting parts of this once-in-a-generation reform aren’t receiving the attention they deserve. Today, for example, is an initial deadline for states to nominate areas they’d like to be designated as ‘opportunity zones.’ This is thanks to a provision incorporated into tax reform through the unflagging dedication of our colleague Senator Scott.
“The premise here is simple. The best way to breathe new life into struggling communities is not to invent some new federal program. It isn’t to throw government money into one more top-down, tax-and-spend scheme. No -- the best way to help the rural areas, small cities, and suburbs left behind by Obama-era policies is to get the government’s foot off the brake and let free enterprise flourish. It’s to make those communities attractive places to do business, open new facilities, and create good-paying jobs.
“This is exactly what tax reform does, by deferring capital gains taxes on income that’s invested in distressed areas that receive this ‘opportunity zone’ designation. As one estimate has it, three quarters of all the new jobs created from 2010 to 2016 went to major metropolitan areas. Only three percent went to rural America. This provision could help change that.
“I know there is a lot of excitement in my state of Kentucky. From coal country to farming communities and everywhere in between, Obama-era overregulation was holding our economy short of its full potential. These opportunity zones offer a shot at real relief. According to our Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky may designate as many as 144 new zones, prioritizing growth in areas that need it most.
“Or take West Virginia. As my friend Senator Capito recently noted, her state understands the problem all too well. One recent study suggests that West Virginia has the third-highest proportion of its population living in economically distressed communities. Opportunity zones will make a difference to her state.
“Of course, so will the rest of tax reform. A few weeks back, Senator Capito reported that Worldwide Equipment in West Sulphur Springs plans to reinvest $8 million into its operations, including more than a thousand employee bonuses -- all thanks to tax reform.
“I imagine West Virginians are quite glad that Senator Capito used her vote to make tax reform a reality. It’s a shame their senior senator didn’t follow suit. It’s a shame he, and every other Democrat, tried to block it from taking effect. Fortunately, this president and this Congress didn’t let that stop us. We accomplished tax reform anyway -- because we’re committed to fighting for all Americans.”
Related Issues: Economy, Tax Reform, Taxes