WATERLOO — An area on the town of Waterloo’s western border, officially known as Census Tract 36037950600, has been designated by the state as a federal Opportunity Zone.
The tract includes select properties on Border City and Serven roads and Routes 5&20.
New York state is participating in the new Opportunity Zone community development program, offered through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This federal program encourages private investment in low-income urban and rural communities.
The Waterloo zone is one of 512 census tracts the state has recommended to the U.S. Department of Treasury for designation as Opportunity Zones.
The zones focus on low-income census tracts with an individual poverty rate of at least 20 percent and median family income no greater than 80 percent of the area median. Funds received by an Opportunity Zone provide investors the chance to put that money to work rebuilding the low- to moderate-income communities.
It also allows a broad array of investors to pool their money in Opportunity Zones, increasing the scale of investment going to underserved areas.
The Treasury Department would administer the Opportunity Zone Program. Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated the Waterloo census tract for the opportunity zones after asking the Empire State Development Corp. and the Homes and Community Renewal Office, in conjunction with the Regional Economic Development Councils, to research areas that meet the criteria. More than 2,000 census tracts were considered and 514 nominated.
There are also two census tracts in Newark, two in Canandaigua and one in Geneva that have been designated as Opportunity Zones.
The incentives to encourage investment in a qualified opportunity fund include:
• Taxpayers can temporarily defer the inclusion in gross income of capital gains that are reinvested in a qualified Opportunity fund.
• Taxpayers can permanently exclude capital gains from the sale or exchange of an investment in a qualified Opportunity fund held for more than 10 years.
The final guidelines for the opportunity funds have not been released yet by the Treasury Department.