Congressional lawmakers in both chambers aim to obtain support from President Donald Trump for new incentives to help economically distressed communities. Since the beginning of 2017, a group of Republicans have been working to pitch tax incentives for financially troubles areas to President Trump and other administration officials.

They are echoing Trump’s calls to revitalize areas with economic woes while the president develops his legislative agenda, including a tax outline slated for release in several weeks. According to a 2016 Distressed Communities Report by the bipartisan think tank Economic Innovation Group, 50 million Americans live in economically distressed areas. The bipartisan bill entitled Investing in Opportunity Act (S.293) would allow investors to put money – with a deferral of capital gains – into new investments in opportunity zones to be chosen by governors based on criteria such as low median family incomes or poverty rates of 20% or higher. Republicans support the initiative and are proposing several ideas, including a plan to put 10% of rural development funds into areas with poverty rates of at least 20% over the last 30 years.

By: Kirill Abbakumov, International Economic Development Council

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Distressed Communities Index (DCI) 

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