Three Morgantown census tracts that include portions of West Virginia University will now be eligible for a new federal tax incentive program designed to encourage private investors to make capital investments.
The three are among 55 “opportunity zones” announced by Gov. Jim Justice and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito last month.
The University worked closely with the City of Morgantown to nominate census tracts that fit both the programs designation criteria and include University and community assets that made them more attractive investment opportunities.
The census tracts include Sunnyside, portions of WVU’s downtown campus including the planned new location of the College of Business and Economics, parts of Suncrest and the 705 Corridor, including WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, the WVU Research Corp. and the WVU Research Park.
The West Virginia University Institute of Technology campus in Beckley is also included in a Raleigh County Designated Opportunity Zone.
“These tracts include not only important physical infrastructure but are also full of ideas and human capital related to the tech and healthcare industries. They are prime for investment and growth” said WVU Interim Director of Corporate Relations Jack Thompson, who worked with city representatives on including the tracts.
Opportunity zones were created by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and are designed to spur economic development and job creation by providing tax benefits to investors. The program allows investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing in the Opportunity Zones.
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