‘Opportunity’ process shows collaboration

Despite a joint effort from Logansport and Cass County officials, an application for a federal Opportunity Zone designation is not being recommended by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The state has announced that the governor recommended 156 census tracts in Indiana for inclusion in the federally-designated program aimed to promote economic growth nationwide. The governor did designate tracts in Carroll and Miami counties for the program as well as several in Marion County.

“Our application was very collaborative and included several letters of support from city and county officials, including myself,” Mayor Dave Kitchell said today. “It’s disappointing, particularly since the entire Hoosier Heartland Corridor in Cass County, both industrial parks in the county, adjoining land to Grissom Air Reserve Base and the community of Walton were included. But if there is a nugget of hope to be taken from this, it’s that this underscores the kind of city/county collaboration we have. To the public, it shows our primary economic development efforts have to be strongest at the local level. We unfortunately can’t depend on state and federal government to help us make our communities more prosperous and thriving.”

According to a statement released by the Governor’s Office, Opportunity Zones provide federal capital gains tax advantages for investments. The designation is intended to attract capital investment into areas that are economically distressed. Eligible Opportunity Zone tracts in non-metropolitan areas must represent census tracts qualifying as “low-income” with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent or a median family income that does not exceed 80 percent of the statewide median family income.

The mayor praised the work of County Economic Development Director Christy Householder who submitted the application. Support also came from Bill Cuppy and the Cass-Logansport Economic Development Organization.

SOURCE: News release from Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell

Editor’s note: The full list of nominated census tracts is available online here.