The Scottsbluff City Council Monday evening approved a proposal nominating three census tracts eligible to be named as an “Opportunity Zone” by Governor Pete Ricketts later this month.
Scottsbluff’s Economic Development Director Starr Lehl told KNEB News that under the program, the governor of each state and territory is authorized to nominate for designation by the U. S. Department of the Treasury a percentage of the state’s qualifying census tracts as Opportunity Zones. Designated tracts stand to benefit from an economic boost, as qualifying investments may be eligible for tax incentives, including capital gains deferrals.
In a statement last month, Dave Rippe, Director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, thanked President Trump and the Federal delegation for their hard work in passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Submissions will be reviewed and scored by the DED before being referred to the Governor for his consideration. Scoring priority will be given to census tracts with a demonstrated commitment to community investment and plans for future investments.
The City’s proposal includes three census tracts; the first is an area along the west side of Highway 26 entering the city and follows along East Overland, also including the South Beltline Highway. The second tract includes an area on both sides of West Overland over to West 20th Street. And the third includes a residential area between East Overland and 27th Street including the downtown area.
Lehl says there has already been substantial public and private investment made in the designated areas with additional plans in the form of workforce housing and business development, which helps strengthen the city’s proposal.
Governor Ricketts will make nominations no later than March 21st.