City receives federal opportunity zone designation

City officials hope a federal program that provides tax incentives to businesses could bring more commercial and industrial growth to the city’s east side.

The federal Opportunity Zone program, which was created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, provides federal capital gains tax incentives to attract private sector investment to low-income urban and rural communities.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has submitted 156 census tracts that were nominated as Opportunity Zones to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin for consideration, one of which is in Columbus on the city’s east side.

The area, which encompasses 3.86 square miles and is known as Census Tract 108, includes State Street, Indiana Avenue and McKinley Avenue, in addition to portions of Gladstone Avenue and Marr Road. If the census tracts are approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the designations remain in place for 10 years.

The federal initiative allows up to 25 percent of a state’s eligible low-income census tracts to be designated as Opportunity Zones, meaning Holcomb was able to nominate a maximum of 156.

“This new program provides one more tool to attract investment and help more of our Hoosier communities succeed,” Holcomb said.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.