Three areas around Savannah have qualified as part of the state's Qualified Opportunity Zones.
That means they're eligible for a new federal tax benefit to generate investment in economically disadvantaged areas.
“In Georgia, we have seen firsthand the value of adhering to conservative principles and creating a business-friendly environment to promote economic development,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “By attracting more private investment to under-served areas, the tax incentives for Qualified Opportunity Zones will further encourage businesses to invest in the communities that need it most, while also creating meaningful employment opportunities across the state. The areas we nominated for this distinction include both rural and urban communities that experienced a slower economic recovery in the last few years, and these tax incentives represent another step forward in their economic revitalization. We look forward to working with the Department of the Treasury, the IRS and the private sector to take full advantage of this program and boost economic growth for Georgia’s economically disadvantaged areas.”
The areas are located downtown, west of MLK Boulevard, east of East Broad Street, south to Victory Drive and along the Savannah River.
The third area is near the Savannah Mall and south around the Rio Road area.
Investors would be allowed to defer federal taxes by taking capital gains from other investments and putting the money in the three areas.
The zones will be in affect for 10 years and the fund will be managed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue applauded the approval of the zones Tuesday.
“One of the many benefits to tax reform has been the creation of Qualified Opportunity Zones so that regions, cities and states and local governments can take quick and meaningful action to help economically disadvantaged areas,” said Isakson. “For too long, capital investment has become concentrated in a few prosperous regions while many communities, especially in smaller cities and rural areas, have seen little economic growth. Qualified Opportunity Zones will allow businesses to invest in areas that need a boost, providing a win-win for all involved.”
“The key to driving economic growth in struggling communities is to create a more business-friendly environment,” said Perdue. “Encouraging private investment in these Opportunity Zones will deliver a boost to small businesses and create more job opportunities. When President Trump was elected, he made it clear that job one was growing the economy. These Opportunity Zones will help, and I will continue working with President Trump to improve our economy.”