City Times Staff
MADISON — On Wednesday, Gov. Scott Walker announced that Wisconsin Rapids will join one of 120 locations to become an economic opportunity zone.
Under a new federal tax law, these zones will be intended to promote economic growth in the area, and spur investment from businesses. In a city press release, Zach Vruwink expressed gratitude to the Governor for including the river cities on the list.
“We applaud Governor Walker and State agencies for working with us to designate a qualifying area of Wisconsin Rapids for this exciting investment designation,” said Mayor Vruwink. “We appreciate every available investment tool available as we continue to grow our economy and create jobs for our residents.”
According to the release, after a thorough review process where only 25 percent of eligible tracts could be nominated, Wisconsin Rapids was chosen as one of them to be an “opportunity zone”. This comes on the heels of the Federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which seeks to improve economic growth in low-income census tracts across the country.
Investors will be able to reduce their capital gains tax when they invest in “distressed” parts of the country. These designations will remain in place for 10 years, once approved. The areas of focus will be put on urban, rural, and tribal growth. The Department of Treasury must complete certification of Opportunity Zones within 30 days of receipt of a nomination from a Governor.
Once implemented, the program could start as early as the fourth quarter of this year.