Six census tracts in Wyandotte County have been nominated by Gov. Jeff Colyer for Opportunity Zone designation.
According to a news release from the governor, the six tracts here are part of 74 throughout the state he is nominating for the economic development designation.
The Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool approved by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, according to the news release. They will allow residents the opportunity to invest into their communities to stem population decline, lack of jobs and crumbling infrastructure.
Communities submitted a list of census tract nominees to the governor for his approval.
In Wyandotte County, census tracts 20209041800, 20209042200, 20209043905, 20209044101, 20209045100, and 20209045200 are on the approved list.
This includes some areas near I-70 south of State Avenue and north of the Kansas River; an area between Central Avenue and I-70; a downtown Kansas City, Kansas, area; and an area along the Rainbow Boulevard corridor near the University of Kansas Medical Center, with borders on the state line and county line.
According to the news release, for the investor, the Opportunity Zone program offers tax incentives to citizens who re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds dedicated to investing in designated census tracts. The program provides deferral and reduction of capital gains taxes when the gain is invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and maintained for at least five years. Additional tax incentives are available for investments held for periods of seven and 10 years.
In February, the Kansas Department of Commerce announced it would begin accepting letters of interest from communities to have their eligible low-income census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones. Following the review of submissions, Gov. Colyer determined that each community that submitted an eligible census tract would be nominated for at least one Opportunity Zone designation. The governor has utilized the available 30-day extension from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to work with local leaders to complete the specific census tracts designated within each community.