A new kind of tax incentive aimed at increasing investments in low-income areas could be coming here if the city gets approval from the state.
City leaders voted Monday, March 12, to give staff the go-ahead to apply for an "opportunity zone" by the deadline of March 19.
City Commissioner Tony Grindberg told The Forum he hopes the zone could be used to encourage low-income housing.
The incentive is part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which authorizes governors to designate the zones in their state, according to Jim Gilmour, the city's strategic planning director. In North Dakota, the governor can designate a total of 25 census tracts, and Fargo has 16 tracts that meet the low-income requirements.
According to maps provided by the state Department of Commerce, Fargo's eligible tracts cover large parts of the city except most neighborhoods south of Interstate 94. The application asks questions such as whether there have been significant layoffs in the census tract and what kinds of businesses might relocate there.
Statewide, there are 45 tracts that are eligible, the state said.
Opportunity zones are aimed at investors with unrealized gains in stock and mutual funds, the state said. They would benefit from a temporary tax deferral on gains invested in an opportunity zone, among other benefits.
The governor's office said the governor will designate the zones by March 21 or April 20 if the federal government allows an extension.
Fargo Seeks New Federal Tax Incentive Zone - West Fargo Pioneer