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CITY OF CLARKSBURG CERTIFED AS “OPPORTUNITY ZONE” BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
Clarksburg, WV – Governor Jim Justice and U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced Friday, May 18, 2018 in a news release that the U.S. Treasury Department had certified 55 locations across West Virginia that will now be eligible for a new federal tax incentive designed to encourage private investors to make capital investments in those areas. The City of Clarksburg was one of the recipients for the highly competitive designation. The City submitted its application to the WV Development Office the week of March 5, 2018.
An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. 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 authority to the Internal Revenue Service.
Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors. First, investors can defer tax on any prior gains until the earlier of the date on which an investment is sold or exchanged, or December 31, 2026, so long as the gain is reinvested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund. Second, if the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor would be eligible for an increase in basis equal to the fair market value of the investment on the date that the investment is sold or exchanged.
“I am very excited about having our Central Business District and its surrounding area declared as an Opportunity Zones. This will be another tool within our toolbox to aid in attracting private investment and will assist with our revitalization and provide an alternative source of investment towards economic growth within Clarksburg,” said City Manager Martin Howe. “The City’s Administration will continue working with the State’s Economic Development Office and the private sector to encourage investment and development within the newly created Opportunity Zone to foster growth.”
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 on Dec. 22, 2017.
Assistant City Manager Anthony Bellotte concluded, “The experience that will be associated with the newly created Opportunity Zone project is a challenge that we welcome. Attracting investors into our City will truly be a win-win for all involved.”
Qualified Opportunity Zones maintain the designation for 10 years.