“Opportunity Zones” offer tax breaks for housing and jobs

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Baker-Polito Administration is hoping a federal tax break will attract business and housing growth opportunities.

“Opportunity zone” applications offer tax incentives to investors who can create jobs and housing in low income areas.

The program is designed to increase private investment opportunities for business growth, by creating housing and commercial construction in low income areas.

“There’s businesses that need help,” Northampton resident Jim Boyle said, “and when you give the incentives to business people, they can start providing some of the services and help that the people need.”

The federal opportunity zone program empowers the governor to nominate up to 138 tracts for designation as opportunity zones.

The eligible tracts are located in 110 municipalities across Massachusetts. Those opportunity zones identify low income areas with the greatest need.

Northampton is one of those eligible communities, with two areas that qualify. But the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Lynn Simmons told 22News that the city will apply, but they’re still trying to determine whether the city will be approved.