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Opportunity Zone
Post Date: Mar 22 2018

By The Jamestown Sun
Parts of Jamestown could become an Opportunity Zone under a provision of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017.

The Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee approved submitting three census tracts to the North Dakota Department of Commerce for consideration during its meeting Tuesday.

Under the Opportunity Zone program, investors who sell property such as stocks or real estate for a profit could reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes on those profits by investing the proceeds in a low-income community.

"It is another tool to encourage investment from the private sector into our area," said Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen.

A low-income community is defined as a census tract where at least 20 percent of families are under the poverty level and the median income is less than 80 percent of the national median income.

In Jamestown, a tract that includes much of downtown and the southeast part of the city qualify as a low-income community. Two additional tracts, including northern Jamestown and southwest Jamestown, can be considered for the program because those tracts are adjacent to the low-income tract and have a median income of less than 125 percent of the national median average.

According to the North Dakota Department of Commerce website, there are 47 eligible low-income communities and 24 eligible adjacent tracts in North Dakota. The Opportunity Zone program allows the participation of a maximum of 25 low-income communities and two adjacent tracts in North Dakota.

Andersen said the resolution from the city would be forwarded to the Gov. Doug Burgum's office for consideration. The governor must submit the final list to the U.S. Treasury Department in April for consideration. If approved at the federal level, the Opportunity Zone remains in effect for 10 years.

In other business, the Jamestown Building, Planning and Zoning Committee gave preliminary approval to an ordinance change allowing medicinal marijuana businesses to operate in Jamestown in some zoning districts.

Medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to operate, with a special use permit, in some commercial zoning districts. Medical marijuana manufacturing facilities would be allowed in areas zoned for manufacturing.

Andersen said any ordinances regarding permitting medical marijuana operations could include regulations about security or other details.

Opportunity Zone - The Jamestown Sun
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