OKLAHOMA CITY – State Senator Micheal Bergstrom announced this week he was notified by the governor’s office that nine communities in northeastern Oklahoma have been named federal Opportunity Zones under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities.
Bergstrom, R-Adair, said the local communities named to the program include Jay, Eucha, Miami, North Miami, Peoria, Picher, Quapaw, Vinita and Wyandotte. The program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains in communities nationwide identified as an Opportunity Zone. By spurring investment in impoverished and economically distressed areas, there is remarkable opportunity for growth in areas that may otherwise remain impoverished and economically disadvantaged.
“This is fantastic news for these communities as well as our district,” said Bergstrom. “By attracting capital to spur development in the district, it could mean a huge benefit to our local area.”
The program required each state’s governor to designate Opportunity Zones using a set of criteria. According to the information provided in Gov. Fallin’s announcement, the criteria limit the total number of potential tracts that could qualify to 25% of the total high poverty or low income communities in the state. Working within the federal guidelines, the criteria was used to select the census tracts across the state.
“This program offers tremendous opportunity for our area,” said Bergstrom. “Going forward, leaders in the business and local communities will work with state agencies to identify how best to fully realize the benefit of being named an Opportunity Zone.”