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Four Opportunity Zones Designated In Allegany County

October 1st, 2018 by WCBC Radio

The Allegany County Department of Economic and Community Development, Cumberland Economic Development Corporation and City of Frostburg are pleased to announce that 4 census tracts in the cities of Cumberland (3) and Frostburg (1) have been designated as Opportunity Zones by the US Department of Treasury.

Established by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones provide an incentive for private investment in areas that have been otherwise economically deprived, benefiting residents living in the zones, the community, as well as investors. Specifically, the federal program includes three potential incentives:  A temporary deferral of capital gains reinvested into an Opportunity Fund. The deferred gain must be recognized on either the date of which the opportunity zone investment is sold or exchanged, or December 31, 2026, whichever happens first.  A step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund. The basis is increased by 10 percent, if the investment in the Opportunity Fund is held by the taxpayer for at least 5 years and by an additional 5 percent if held for at least 7 years, thereby excluding up to 15 percent of the original gain from taxation.  A permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains from the sale or exchange of an investment in an Opportunity Fund, if the investment is held for at least 10 years. This exclusion only applies to gains accrued after an investment in an Opportunity Fund.

The approved Opportunity Zones were recommended by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Maryland Department of Commerce to align the program with existing economic & community development efforts where public investment is being directed. Of the 589 census tracts eligible for designation in the state of Maryland, only 25% (149) could be selected.

“The Opportunity Zone program allows Maryland to attract Capital to energize the development of communities that have not traditionally seen private sector investment, and they will be a game-changer for Maryland,” said Maryland DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “I’m excited to establish these zones and further leverage private, nonprofit and public sector funds, providing new opportunities for housing, retail and business growth to fuel the state’s economic engine and create jobs.”
The 3 Cumberland tracts included in the designation are:
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 Downtown Cumberland District – North of I-68 between Mechanic Street and the Queen City Drive/Henderson Avenue corridor including surrounding areas of Braddock Middle School.
 Washington Street/Green Street District – Points west of Will’s Creek including Cumberland Street, Fayette Street and Paca Street
 South End Cumberland District – South of I-68 following Industrial Blvd to Virginia Ave and all points south along Virginia Avenue to the West Virginia border.
The Frostburg tract included in the designation is:
 Frostburg State University District – The area located north of I-68 and south of Main Street (US-40), west of Welsh Hill Road and Bowery Street to the Garrett County line

“The Opportunity Zone in Frostburg aligns with many of the City’s targeted infrastructure and redevelopment efforts where many public grant dollars have been directed. These areas of investment falling within the designated Opportunity Zone presents very favorable circumstances for investment to support these pivotal projects in our community,” explains Elizabeth Stahlman, Community Development Director of the City of Frostburg

“Having these Opportunity Zones within our central business district will be crucial when attracting private investment to Cumberland. This incentive offers a whole new approach when marketing potential sites of development or redevelopment to investors” says Matt Miller, Economic Specialist, Cumberland Economic Development Corporation. “The Opportunity Zone program is a welcomed tool intended to attract private investment into local real estate projects and local small businesses within selected areas of the City of Frostburg and the City of Cumberland.” says Jeff Barclay, Director of Allegany County DECD. “It is important that local professionals and local stakeholders stay informed about the application of the program and the soon to come implementation phase.”
 

 

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