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Bipartisan Bill Supporting Opportunity Zones, Housing Transparency Moving Through Washington

BillA new bill by Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax, Dan Kildee (D-MI), Carol Miller (R-WV), and Terri Sewell (D-AL) would require mandatory data reporting for housing projects in Opportunity Zones. The bill would also extend the investment and deferral window to the end of 2028, providing a longer time horizon to drive more investment into high-impact projects in low-income communities. 

The bill, entitled “Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act” was reintroduced after GOP members elected a House Speaker after multiple rounds of candidates and subsequent votes. 

“Opportunity Zones have breathed new life into neighborhoods and Main Street businesses that have not seen private investment in years, all without spending a single taxpayer dollar,” Rep. Kelly said. “This legislation builds upon the successes of Opportunity Zones and now adds new guidelines to make sure this program can benefit more communities for years to come.” 

The Opportunity Zones program has helped provide economic development tools to grow communities in Michigan,” Rep. Kildee said. “But the Opportunity Zones program needs improvements, as industrial sites like Buick City in my hometown of Flint, were overlooked by it. I’m proud to work with Congressman Kelly on this bipartisan legislation to create new economic opportunities for mid-Michigan, helping revitalize former industrial sites to grow our economy and strengthen our neighborhoods.” 

“Creating Opportunity Zones have promoted businesses to settle in southern West Virginia and communities across the country. Promoting high-impact projects, particularly in rural and overlooked areas, will set future generations up for success and drive economic growth. The Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act will advance success across the United States and establish a standard that all opportunity zone policies should follow,” said Congresswoman Miller. 

“Increasing opportunity across Alabama’s 7th Congressional District continues to be among my top priorities,” said Rep. Sewell. “That is why I have fought so hard to make the Opportunity Zone program work for areas like the Black Belt, where communities will most benefit from increased economic opportunity. This legislation will make critical improvements to Opportunity Zones to help grow our local economies and strengthen our communities.” 

Opportunity Zones (OZs) were established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the landmark tax reform law Rep. Kelly led as a member of the Ways & Means Committee. OZs are federally recognized, economically distressed communities where new investments can be eligible for preferential capital gains tax treatment. More than $29 billion have been invested in 6,000 qualified opportunity funds through 2019. 

Click here to read the bill in its entirety, and here for a one-page summary of the bill. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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