Jefferson County Offers Opportunity Zones for Economic Development

May 24, 2018


Six locations in Jefferson County, West Virginia, including the Burr Business Park,  have qualified as ""Opportunity Zones"" by the U.S. Department of Treasury and are now eligible for a new tax incentive designed to promote economic development. 

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito announced that the U.S. Department of Treasury has certified 55 Opportunity Zones across West Virginia, with six of the areas in Jefferson County, that will now be eligible for a new federal tax incentive designed to encourage private investors to make capital investments in those areas.

In Jefferson County, the designated census tracts for Opportunity Zones are: 

  • industrial/commercial acreage around and including Burr Business Park 
  • residential and industrial/commercial areas near the former Jefferson Orchards site
  • residential and industrial/commercial areas around and Sunnyside Business Park  
  • downtown central Charles Town
  • Langlet Farm/WVU Medicine area 
  • Old Town Ranson

Opportunity Zones were created and added to the federal tax code as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that was approved by Congress in December 2017. Qualified Opportunity Zones retain the designation for 10 years.

Normally, when private investors and corporations sell assets, the proceeds from such sales would be taxed as a capital gain. The new law provides these investors with an alternative by allowing them to invest capital gains into Opportunity Funds/Zones and defer federal taxes on the profit temporarily.  The longer the investment is retained, the greater the capital gains tax relief becomes.     

""Corporations and individuals who invest in Opportunity Funds/Zones will be able to minimize their tax burden through preferential treatment of capital gains,"" said Nicolas Diehl, executive director of the Jefferson County Development Authority. ""It's an exciting opportunity to attract private investors and makes communities certified as Opportunity Zones like Jefferson County more attractive for investment and development."" 

""These Opportunity Zones will help to revitalize many areas across West Virginia and spur private investments that will create economic growth, new development, and job opportunities for our citizens,"" said Gov. Justice. ""This is more great news for our state. It continues our movement forward and the hope for brighter days ahead.""

""Congress passed and President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year to provide tax relief, benefits, and opportunities to families, workers, and small businesses in West Virginia and across the country. These Opportunity Zones are yet another way tax reform is going to help West Virginians create jobs, drive economic growth, and attract investment in areas that need it most,"" Senator Capito said. ""I was proud to co-sponsor the provision in the new tax law that makes Opportunity Zones possible, and I look forward to continuing to work with state and local leaders to make the most of this new economic development tool.""




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