Marco Rubio Backs Tim Scott’s Proposal to Expand Opportunity Zones

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has thrown his support behind U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s, R-SC, proposal expanding Opportunity Zones.

Last week, Scott introduced the Improving and Reinstating the Monitoring, Prevention, Accountability, Certification, and Transparency Provisions of Opportunity Zones (IMPACT) Act with Rubio and Republican U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Todd Young of Indiana, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Cory Gardner of Colorado as cosponsors.

“The Improving and Reinstating the Monitoring, Prevention, Accountability, Certification, and Transparency Provisions of Opportunity Zones (IMPACT) Act includes a variety of reporting requirements, fully listed below, to provide for the most robust and granular analysis over time on the targeted impacts of investments in Opportunity Zones. With more than $63 billion already in anticipated investments, it is critical that this analysis is in place. The IMPACT Act’s requirements do this while protecting taxpayer privacy laws and preserving the ability of communities to utilize a wide-variety of possible investments without overburdening entrepreneurs and local governments with mountains of unnecessary paperwork,” Rubio’s office noted.

“I was proud to support Opportunity Zones in 2017 with the goal of spurring economic innovation in communities across our nation, giving all Americans the chance to succeed,” Rubio said. “The IMPACT Act will increase accountability to ensure Opportunity Zones are having the positive effect on distressed communities that they were created to.”

“Opportunity Zones provide thousands of low-income communities, both urban and rural, across the country with the potential to transform the future for generations to come,” Scott said. “The IMPACT Act’s reporting requirements will help show communities and investors that the initiative is working, as well as help root out any fraud or abuse. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help the more than 31 million Americans living in Opportunity Zones experience a brighter future.”

“Opportunity Zones have the potential to transform some of the most economically underdeveloped parts of the country and lift millions of Americans out of poverty. Everyone deserves a shot at the American Dream. This legislation will help make sure the federal government has the information it needs to track the success of Opportunity Zones,” Grassley said.

“This bill would help us monitor and better understand what’s working and what’s not in the Opportunity Zone program. This program can really be a game-changer for West Virginia because of the chance to leverage investments. Having this information will help the program become more robust and aid the communities that need it the most,” Capito said.

“When we passed tax reform, I was proud to support the creation of Opportunity Zones to incentivize new investment in distressed communities across the country,” Young said. “The IMPACT Act will help strengthen Opportunity Zones by increasing transparency within the program and creating metrics to measure and improve on its success.”

“Opportunity Zones are a promising tool for driving investment in distressed communities,” Ernst said. “This important legislation will ensure that we can effectively measure its success in communities across Iowa.”

“As a fifth generation Coloradan who grew up on the Eastern Plains, I know how important it is to attract growth to local communities, and particularly rural communities, in Colorado and throughout the country,” Gardner said. “The IMPACT Act will provide new data on Opportunity Zones, so we can make them as effective as possible at encouraging investment, inciting growth, and extending opportunities for communities across all four corners of Colorado.”

Rubio’s office offered the case for expanding Opportunity Zones on Monday.

“Instead of utilizing a ‘Band-Aid method’ or temporary fix, the Opportunity Zones initiative aims to lift up entire neighborhoods by attracting private investment to areas most in need. With about $6 trillion of capital gains sitting on the sidelines, investors can now take advantage of a tax incentive if they elect to invest resources in the more than 8,700 designated distressed communities across the country,” Rubio’s office noted.

“The law is also written in a way that encourages long-term investment by allowing for a ‘step-up’ approach: There is a greater financial benefit for investing over a 10-year time period, rather than just five years. This type of structure will encourage investors to establish meaningful relationships with the communities they are investing in,” Rubio’s office added.

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee last week. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. House.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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