BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The United States Treasury has certified Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter's nomination of 28 low-income census tracts in Idaho to be designated federal "Opportunity Zones."
There is only one in eastern Idaho; a census track in Pocatello was identified.
The zones are part of the tax cut law approved by Congress earlier this year.
Under the law, the zones are part of a new community development program that encourages long-term investment in low-income urban and rural communities. Private investment that places 90 percent or more of their funds into an Opportunity Zone can earn tax relief on capital gains generated through those investments.
"This is a great way to drive more capital investment toward Idaho neighborhoods and communities that aren't benefiting as they should from our statewide economic growth," Governor Otter said. "There are no real strings attached to this market-driven tax treatment by the feds. Nobody is dictating the kind of investments the locals should pursue to promote their own prosperity."
Census tracts are deemed "low-income" when the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and family income is less than 80 percent of the area's median income.
The Idaho Department of Commerce solicited cities, counties, and tribes to apply for the designation. It received 59 applications from 24 public entities.
The full list of Opportunity Zones is here: