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State lawmakers propose Opportunity Zones for low-income areas

Tom Byrne
Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney is considering a bipartisan proposal by state lawmakers to establish certain areas of the state as Opportunity Zones.

The Opportunity Zones Program was created in last year’s tax cut bill passed by Congress. It gives investors a tax incentive to invest in low-income areas.

Legislators want the Elsmere/Newport area designed a opportunity zone. Republican State Sen. Anthony Delcollo of Marshallton said this part of Delaware was hard hit by the Recession.

“The notion of having this incredible opportunity to hopefully put some arrows in the quiver of potential future employers, potential future entities that might be coming to offer opportunity in and around Boxwood Road is just seemed to us to be too good of an opportunity to pass up,” he said.

The designation could help efforts to redevelop the Boxwood Industrial Park. Property developers bought the former General Motors auto plant on Boxwood Rd. last year. It could also help the Newport Industrial Park.

Under the program, states can designate up to 25 percent of its low-income census tracts as Opportunity Zones.

Gov. John Carney has until March 21 to submit a proposal to the U.S. Treasury Department for approval.

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