Opportunity Zones in Appalachia

Qualified Opportunity Zones are economically-distressed communities where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. This can help bring new investments into previously under-capitalized areas. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state, and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service. As Appalachia is home to 737 Opportunity Zones, or 8.5 percent of the country’s total, ARC is actively working with communities to leverage Opportunity Zone designations, and ARC’s Federal Co-Chair serves on President Trump’s White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to better coordinate Federal resources to these areas.

Two of Appalachia’s designated Opportunity Zones are along the Oostanaula River in Rome, Georgia. In these neighborhoods, the City of Rome is performing needed water infrastructure upgrades using ARC support.  This will help the Rome Downtown Development Authority, the Rome-Floyd Chamber of Commerce, and surrounding property and business owners make the area shovel-ready for major development, attract capital, and create jobs.

In Kentucky, there are Opportunity Zones tracts in every one of the state’s 54 Appalachian counties. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED) has stood up kyoz.org,  a dedicated dashboard for potential Opportunity Zone investors. With ARC assistance, KCED will expand this resource to engage marketing, site and project development, project financing, and other professionals to work closely with local leaders to identify and cultivate additional Opportunity Zone investment prospects to help communities better leverage Opportunity Zone investment incentives.