The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced it will accept public comments on its Request for Information (RFI) to help spur economic development in qualified Opportunity Zones and other distressed areas across the country. The public comment period closes on October 18, 2019, and counties are encouraged to share their local perspective on the EDA proposal.
The Opportunity Zone program is a nationwide initiative administered by the U.S. Treasury created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The program encourages private investment in new businesses, property development, and infrastructure in distressed communities over the next 10 years.
According to NACo:
The RFI includes specific questions such as:
- How can the federal government target and streamline infrastructure programs in qualified Opportunity Zones and other economically distressed communities to create long-term sustainable economic growth?
- How can coordination between federal, state and local capital investment be improved to maximize economic development to the benefit of Opportunity Zones?
- What additional resources or policy changes might communities need to successfully compete for private investment in rural Opportunity Zones?
The public comment period will remain open through October 18, 2019, and instructions for comment submission can be found at this link. Counties are encouraged to share their local perspective on how this proposal could impact their jurisdictions and residents with NACo staff as well as EDA.
- Federal Register: Review of DOC Policy in Opportunity Zones
- NACo blog: EDA designates Opportunity Zones as agency priority
- NACo blog: Legislation introduced to measure economic impact of Opportunity Zones