WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. James Lankford (Rep., Okla.) and other senators have asked the Department of the Treasury to modify certain rules for businesses and investors in Opportunity Zones.
The senators said they believe that should be done as the nation begins to reopen the country economically as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Sen. Lankford and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (Rep., S.C.) are leading the effort to encourage investment in Opportunity Zones.
Opportunity Zones were created in the 2017 tax reform package, and offer investors a deferment of capital gains taxes in exchange for long-term investments in low-income communities across the country.
“The 2008 financial crisis showed us that low-income communities are often the first hit and last to recover during times of economic instability,” a statement said.
The senators said helping the most economically distressed communities (or Opportunity Zones) should be used during recovery efforts in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Helping Opportunity Zones will “ensure the strongest possible path forward toward economic recovery.”
The senators said they have made 10 specific requests to the treasury department, which they said will help “Opportunity Zone businesses, as well as community organizations, entrepreneurs and developers working to use this incentives to foster positive change in our nation’s most distressed Zip Codes.”
“As we work together to ensure the American economy recovers to the historic growth levels it was experiencing just months ago,” the senators wrote, “we must also ensure that our low-income communities are not left behind as we return to business as usual. Our most recent financial crisis made clear that low-income communities are often the first hit during a recession and the last to recover.
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