Arkansas: The Land Of OZ

A top White House official on Monday said that policymakers in Little Rock and across Arkansas already have a “green light” to seek private investment for distressed, low-income areas across the state to take advantage of so-called federal Opportunity Zones approved by Congress in late 2017.

Ben Hobbs, a top domestic policy advisor to President Donald Trump, and other top White House officials were part of an all-day roundtable event at the downtown Robinson Center organized by Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, to discuss the little known federal tax incentive program aimed at spurring private investment in targeted low-income communities across the U.S.

In explaining Trump’s aim for the nearly 9,000 OZs in all 50 states, Hobbs said the administration has already promulgated the first round of rules that provide guidance on what type of investments would qualify for the new federal tax break. Those initial rules, announced by the IRS in late 2018, also offer flexibility for how and when such investments must be deployed into development and business projects.      MORE

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