Hill aims to make Arkansas a national model for Opportunity Zones

U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR) is working to ensure that his home state becomes a national model for the implementation of Opportunity Zones, which are designed to attract companies and businesses to invest in economically distressed communities.

“Ultimately, my vision is that together, we can make Arkansas the top Opportunity Zone environment in the country,” said Rep. Hill during an Aug. 6 roundtable discussion on Little Rock’s Opportunity Zones with Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., members from the White House Domestic Policy Council, elected officials, and local stakeholders. 

Opportunity Zones, created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, utilize federal government tax incentives, such as eliminating the capital gains tax, to entice business investment in financially stressed areas.

“I strongly believe there is a direct relationship between incentivizing investment in low-income communities and fostering economic revitalization and job creation, which is why I’ve been such an advocate for these Opportunity Zones at both the federal and state level,” Rep. Hill said. “We should be proud that Arkansas is leading the way in creating innovative investment opportunities which empower our local and state governments.” 

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Feb. 26 signed state legislation into law making it the first state to enact state Opportunity Zone legislation, according to a statement released by Rep. Hill’s office. 

The congressman said events like last week’s roundtable “will help create synergies and further our efforts to draw investment and economic revitalization to Little Rock.”

Rep. Hill also said he was encouraged by comments from the Arkansas Capital Corporation “signaling that recent U.S. Treasury Department regulations will allow businesses to benefit from investment in Opportunity Zones.”