Madison County, MS (April 16, 2018)- The U.S. Department of Treasury has designated three census tracts in Madison County, MS as Qualified Opportunity Zones to spur economic growth. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act authorized the governor of each U.S. state and territory to nominate a certain number of qualifying census tracts as “Opportunity Zones.” Mississippi’s designations were officially confirmed Tuesday, April 10th, by the Treasury Department, which administers the program.
The Madison County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA), along with Madison County municipalities within eligible census tracts, nominated tracts for Governor Bryant’s consideration and recommendation to the U.S. Department of Treasury for the Opportunity Zone designation.
Joseph P. Deason, Executive Director of Madison County Economic Development said, “These three tracts, one in Ridgeland and two in Canton, will provide our communities the ability to attract private investment to encourage economic development in the form of jobs and assist neighborhood revitalization. We are all excited and look forward to receiving the next round of information concerning the program.”
The Ridgeland Opportunity Zone is comprised of the area between South Wheatley Street to Old Canton Road (West to East) and Lake Harbour Drive to East County Line Road (North to South).
Mayor Gene McGee of Ridgeland said, “First of all, I would like to thank Governor Bryant for his leadership and designation of the Ridgeland Opportunity Zones. He continued, “We’ve been looking for opportunities for development and redevelopment in this area. We believe this will help the Northpark Mall area and provide opportunities to develop the land around the area that has been vacant. This is a Win-Win for The City of Ridgeland.”
The Canton Opportunity Zones span from Interstate 55 in Canton and end just before Sharon Road (West to East) running along Peace Street and Hwy 16. These tracts are located within the Madison County Healthcare Zone.
Dr. William Truly, Jr., Mayor of Canton said, “The City of Canton is more than ecstatic to be chosen as one of the communities for the Opportunity Zone. This opportunity allows investors to take a serious look at the City of Canton for economic development. If there’s a city that needs economic development, it’s the City of Canton. He continued, “We wish to thank MCEDA for serving as a bridge to help us get designated as an Opportunity Zone. The City of Canton is pleased to be chosen by Governor Bryant to receive 2 of the 100 designated Opportunity Zones in Mississippi.”
Qualified Opportunity Zones retain this designation for 10 years. Investors can defer tax on any prior gains until no later than December 31, 2026, so long as the gain is reinvested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund, an investment vehicle organized to make investments in Qualified Opportunity Zones. In addition, if the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor would be eligible for an increase in its basis equal to the fair market value of the investment on the date that it is sold.
Treasury and the IRS plan to issue additional information on Qualified Opportunity Funds. The additional guidance will address the certification of Opportunity Funds, which are required to have at least 90 percent of fund assets invested in Opportunity Zones. For additional information on Opportunity Zones, please go to https://www.cdfifund.gov/Pages/Opportunity-Zones.aspx.
As the leader of economic development for Madison County, MCEDA’s mission is to encourage the growth of the county’s existing business and industry, attract new investment and higher-paying jobs, and to increase Madison County’s competitiveness leading to a diverse, vibrant economy benefitting all the county’s citizens.