Local Government and Politics

Lynn seeks federal ‘opportunity zone’ designation

LYNN — Mayor Thomas M. McGee announced the city has been chosen by Gov. Charlie Baker to be submitted for consideration to the U.S. Treasury Department for an Opportunity Zone designation.

McGee’s office, in a statement, said the designation would encourage long-term investment in eligible census tracts in the city. Created as part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zone program presents a chance for private, tax-free investment into areas of economic need, benefiting both residents of the zones and private investors.

“This is another piece to enhance our economic development plans. Being selected as an Opportunity Zone will help make us more attractive to investors,” said McGee. “We look forward

to taking advantage of every opportunity that can help development in the city of Lynn.”

The Opportunity Zone program offers a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into ‘Opportunity Funds,’ which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in low-income areas called ‘Opportunity Zones.’

“Opportunity zones could create another tool to help Lynn pursue economic development. I applaud the city and state for working together to include Lynn as part of the recommended zones,” said state Sen. Brendan Crighton.

The zones themselves are to be comprised of low-income community census tracts and designated by governors in every state.

“EDIC was pleased to work with Mayor McGee in submitting our application for Economic Opportunity status. This will be another tool for the city to use which will encourage developers to invest in Lynn,” said Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn Executive Director James M. Cowdell.

The city’s designation submission was forwarded to federal officials along with 134 other submissions from 78 communities in Massachusetts.

“We welcome additional tools through which private investment is encouraged in Lynn with the hope that any opportunities created in ‘Opportunity Zones’ are not solely for the investors, but more importantly for the residents of Lynn,” said state Rep. Dan Cahill.

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