TOPEKA, Kansas — Four more Kansas counties would be added to a growing list of rural areas with special designation under a bill clearing the House.
Cherokee, Labette, Montgomery and Sumner counties would join the existing list of 73 counties identified as rural opportunity zones.
The bill advanced 123-0 on Thursday, sending it to the Senate.
Legislators created the program to boost rural growth in 2011, primarily in counties that experienced double-digit population declines during the last federal census period.
The program offers income tax exemptions for new residents moving to those counties, as well as the repayment of a portion of outstanding college loans with participation by county governments.
Program supporters say the incentives have been helpful in attracting residents and business activity.