The Washington State Department of Commerce announced Governor Jay Inslee’s approval Friday of 139 Opportunity Zone tracts in 36 counties. Multiple Pierce County communities could benefit from a tax incentive plan aimed at attracting business investment in the region. As part of an initiative created by federal tax reform, these twelve Pierce County areas have been designated as “Opportunity Zones:”
- Tacoma: Hilltop & Martin Luther King Street; Lincoln District; Old City Hall & Central Business District; Puyallup Tribal land near Portland Avenue/I-5 interchange; Tacoma Mall & Nalley Valley; UW Tacoma & Brewery District
- Parkland & Spanaway: Pacific Avenue corridor (3 tracts)
- Lakewood: Springbrook Neighborhood; St. Clare; Woodbrook & Tillicum Neighborhood
“This designation offers significant federal tax incentives to organizations and individuals investing in Opportunity Funds, which support development projects in low-income areas,” said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. “These new opportunity zones provide another reason companies and businesses should locate and expand in Pierce County.”
Pierce County nominated eleven tracts and the Puyallup Tribe submitted one tract for inclusion in the program, based on each tract’s eligibility for designation and alignment with existing economic development efforts. Pierce County Opportunity Zones support economic vitality by focusing on:
- Family-wage jobs
- Supportive land use planning
- Infrastructure and transportation
- Public safety
- Social equity
Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County (EDB), said this incentive from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act can be a gamechanger for communities that traditionally do not attract private investment.
“With this designation, investors can defer and even reduce their federal tax liability on the sale of appreciated assets if they place their gains into a new vehicle called an Opportunity Fund,” said Kendall. “These funds then channel pooled capital into equity investments in small businesses and real estate in distressed communities.”
The Opportunity Zone initiative is a federal program available to all states and U.S. territories. For information specific to the Pierce County Opportunity Zones, contact the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County at www.edbtacomapierce.org. To learn more about the federal program, visit bit.ly/NewOpportunityZones.
About the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County
Founded in 1978 as a private nonprofit, the EDB focuses its work on recruiting new firms to Pierce County, retaining those that are here, and helping all of them expand. The EDB supports companies to create new jobs and to grow the economy of the South Sound and Washington State, USA. In the past two decades, the EDB has worked with companies that have made over $1.6 billion in capital investments and created over 25,000 jobs.