04.28.16

Gardner, Scott, Booker Introduce Legislation to Stimulate Local Economies in Impoverished Communities

Washington – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) joined Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in introducing the Investing in Opportunity Act, a bipartisan bill proposing a new solution to encourage economic growth and job creation in economically distressed communities. Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI) joined Gardner, Scott, and Booker to introduce the bill, which offers a temporary capital gains deferral in exchange for reinvesting those dollars into distressed communities.

Currently, more than 50 million Americans nationwide live in an economically distressed communities. With American investors currently holding trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains, the Investing in Opportunity Act provides an innovative framework for reinvesting those dollars into communities that need it most.

“As a fifth generation Coloradan who grew up on the Eastern Plains, I know how important it is to attract growth to local communities, and particularly rural communities, in Colorado and throughout the country,” Gardner said. “The Investing in Opportunity Act is an innovative way to encourage investment, incite growth, and extend opportunities to communities that are struggling. I encourage my colleagues to join us in supporting this commonsense legislation that’s a stepping stone to restoring faith in the American Dream for some people who feel that it may be out of reach for them.”

The Investing in Opportunity Act opens the door for private investment in economically distressed communities in the following ways:

  • Removes a barrier to investment through a temporary capital gains deferral in exchange for reinvesting in distressed communities
  • Encourages investors from across the nation to pool resources through newly-created “Opportunity Funds” -- established specifically for making investments in distressed communities
  • Concentrates capital by establishing “Opportunity Zones” -- geographically targeted low-income areas that will be designated by governors
  • Provides incentives for investors to make long-term commitments to these communities

Research by the Economic Innovation Group recently found that more than 50 million Americans live in economically distressed communities, which suffer from a lack of investment and business growth. The Opportunity Funds created by this legislation will provide a high-impact source for funding new businesses, developing blighted properties, investing in local infrastructure projects, financing facility construction or refurbishment, and a host of other activities to new opportunities for local residents and enhance the local economy. 

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