Rep. Rice Urges Governor Cuomo to Designate “Opportunity Zones” in NY-04
New community development program creates incentives for long-term investments in low-income communities
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice is calling for eligible communities in New York’s fourth congressional district to be designated as Opportunity Zones, which will incentivize long-term investment of private capital in low-income communities. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established a new community development program that provides tax incentives for investors to re-invest in low-income urban and rural communities that have been designated as Opportunity Zones. Communities are eligible to be designated as Opportunity Zones if they have an individual poverty rate of at least 20% and a median family income of no more than 80% of the median family income in the surrounding area.
In a recent letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Rice noted that participating in the program would bring significant investment to long under-served communities and spur economic growth throughout Long Island. Eligible communities in New York’s fourth district include the Village of Hempstead, which the Census designates as having “severe economic distress,” as well as Freeport, Long Beach, and New Cassel. Governor Cuomo has until Friday, April 20, to nominate eligible communities to be designated as Opportunity Zones.
“There are a number of eligible areas of the 4th Congressional District that would greatly benefit from being designated,” Rice wrote. “The area that could most benefit is Hempstead, which has ‘severe economic distress’ census tracts. The Hempstead area is ready for increased investment in the people who live and work there. Designating the other eligible tracts in NY-4 would also help Long Island as a whole prosper. Freeport has made transit-oriented development and downtown revitalization a priority in order to help retain both younger and older residents. As Long Beach continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy, it is looking at how it can use the land in the eligible tract more deliberately and efficiently – that is, more resilient to flooding and also adding resources the community needs, such as parks, child care, and employers. New Cassel, which you designated in 2015 as a Brownfield Opportunity Area, is actively working to improve quality of life and increase economic opportunity.”
The full text of the letter is available here.