Citizens who live in rural areas of Kansas may get a second chance to save money on student loans and property taxes if SB125 is passed.
The bill extends the rural opportunity zones, loan repayment program and income tax credit another five years which will help citizens moving to these locations save money. Austin argues that if the state does not extend these benefits for another five years, recruiting to rural hospitals would be made just that much harder.
These benefits attract students who are just getting out of medical school to relocate to the rural areas in Kansas to save money paying back their student loans, as well as being able to find affordable housing. He says this is one of the only bills that attracts those in the medical field to come work in the rural parts of Kansas.
“One of the aspects that our hospitals have continuously struggled with is the recruitment of healthcare professionals in our rural counties. These bills give us an opportunity to have a tool in our toolbox to bring individuals, even outside our state, back to our rural areas,” said Austin. Rep. Jim Kelly says his county, Montgomery, is a large user of the rural opportunity zone programs.