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Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has requested that Governor Andrew Cuomo designate Middletown, Port Jervis and Newburgh as Opportunity Zones to help promote investment in these urban communities.
The Federal Tax Reform Bill, passed by Congress in December of 2017, included a provision describing the creation of Opportunity Zones. These provisions encourage the promotion of private investment in these communities by giving tax benefits the longer an investor remains.
“My administration has worked with Middletown to utilize water from the Indigot Reservoir properties, which will enable the City to expand its water supply and create jobs; we have partnered with Newburgh to open the new Orange-Ulster BOCES Adult Education Learning Center and have collaborated with Port Jervis to improve its infrastructure,” Neuhaus said. “We will continue to work hard to make Orange County inviting to businesses looking to relocate and we want our cities to be key players in this initiative. Our three cities are at the beginnings of economic comebacks and significant private investment in these communities would help them to continue that growth.”
Opportunity Zones encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. The Opportunity Zones program provides tax incentives for investors to reinvest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to help invigorate Opportunity Zones designated by the chief executives of each U.S. state and territory.
The program uses low-income community census tracts as the basis for determining areas eligible for Opportunity Zone designation. Governor Cuomo has until March 21st to designate up to 25 percent of the total number of low-income census tracts in New York State as Opportunity Zones. However, that date could be extended to April 21st, according to the State’s Empire State Development Office.
“The opportunity zone designation brings with it significant private sector investment which is lacking in urban areas,” City of Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano said. “It appears to be a creative financing mechanism and if managed properly could result in millions of investment dollars coming into our city. I support County Executive Neuhaus’ request to include the three Orange County cities and see it as a tremendous opportunity for job creation in our community.”
Added City of Port Jervis Mayor Kelly Decker: “I appreciate that County Executive Neuhaus has made this request on behalf of the City of Port Jervis. Living along the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey makes it very difficult for us to compete for economic development projects. This type of initiative would certainly be welcomed.”
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or [email protected].