Local Investors and Developers Learn About the New Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive

The Yakima County Development Association brought together businesses, investors and developers to learn about the new Federal Opportunity Zone tax incentive.

Tax incentive experts Luke Pope and Matt Drinen traveled to the Yakima Valley from the St. Louis CliftonLarsonAllen office to present at the workshop. They provided a detailed outline of how the Opportunity Zones program can be used for investment in Yakima County projects.

There are four Opportunity Zones in Yakima County that were specifically selected because of their potential for new development. Located in these zones are the site of the former Boise Cascade Mill, downtown Yakima, the Yakima Speedway, State Fair Park, Ahtanum Business Park, and the site of the proposed Regional Beltway Connector.

Opportunity Zones were created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are a new tax incentive designed to steer long-term capital investments into economically distressed communities. These Investments are eligible for the temporary deferral and potential exclusion of capital gains tax.

“This roundtable was the next step in our work on Opportunity Zones,” said Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of YCDA.  YCDA worked closely with the Department of Commerce, Yakima County, and other local partners in February and March to identify where the four Opportunity Zones would be located.

“Having Opportunity Zones is just one half of the incentive,” explained Smith. “The other half is the creation of Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds that can direct investment dollars into new development projects inside the zones. This roundtable got us one step closer to that.”

Earlier in the month YCDA was in Seattle to participate in an Opportunity Zones summit hosted by the Washington Department of Commerce.

The summit brought together investors, national experts, program leaders, and community representatives, and there was a lot of information shared about how the program can work for projects here in Yakima County.

Click here for more information about Opportunity Zones

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