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Gov. Rauner announces Opportunity Zones

Press release from the office of Gov. Bruce Rauner

US Treasury certifies 327 Economic Opportunity Zones in Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced May 18 that 327 Opportunity Zone census tract recommendations submitted by the State of Illinois have been approved by the U.S. Treasury Department. These zones cover more than 85 counties throughout the state and aim to support the future of Illinois through economic growth and investment.

What are Opportunity Zones? The Opportunity Zones program encourages long-term investment and job creation in low-income areas of the state, by allowing investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains in designated census tracts.

To determine the most effective tracts for nomination, a three-phase approach was implemented to identify need and potential, adequately represent the entire state, and account for local input. Phase one involved need-based indexing depending on factors like poverty rates, specifically those among children, unemployment rates, crime rates and population. These standards highlight the goal of the program in Illinois which is to cultivate potential within disadvantaged communities and invest in our future generations across the state.

Phase two and three were used to further identify the allotted 327 tracts Illinois could nominate under the federal program guidelines. To ensure a statewide benefit, each county with qualifying tracts received at least one zone and towns and cities across the state were limited on the number of zones included. Read more. Click here for more information on Opportunity Zones or to see the map.

SSMMA created a map of Opportunity Zones in the south suburban region, which includes census tracts from the communities of Blue Island, Riverdale, Markham, Posen, Hazel Crest, Dixmoor, Dolton, Harvey, Ford Heights, Park Forest, Richton Park, Chicago Heights, Calumet City, Calumet Park and Sauk Village.

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