UNION COUNTY — US House of Representatives Fifth District Rep. Ralph Norman will be in Union County next week to visit the local “Opportunity Zone.”
In a statement released Thursday, Norman’s office announced that he will visit the Opportunity Zones of the Fifth Congressional District on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Norman’s visits to the Opportunity Zones of the district will bring him to Union County on Tuesday (April 3) where he will visit the local Opportunity Zone in the Union area. His visit will include a 2 p.m. stop at the Spartanburg Community College Union Campus.
On Friday, March 23, Gov. Henry McMaster announced the nomination of 135 Opportunity Zones throughout South Carolina including one in Union County.
According to the South Carolina Opportunity Zone website (scopportunityzone.com), the site in Union County nominated by McMaster as an Opportunity Zone is “Tract #45087030100” which, according to a press release issued by Norman’s office, encompasses parts of Union. It offers the following information about the tract:
• Population 2,186
• Population — White 1,248 (57.1%)
• Population — Black 847 (38.7%)
• Population — Other 91 (4.2%)
• Poverty Rate 23.4%
• Labor Force Participation Rate 47.7%
• Unemployment Rate 4.4%
• Median Household Income 30,806
The website states that Opportunity Zones “are a new community development program established by Congress as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, they are designed to encourage long-term private investments in low-income communities. This program provides 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.’”
It states that “the zones themselves are to be comprised of low-income community census tracts and designated by governors in every state. South Carolina designated 25 percent of qualifying census tracts as an Opportunity Zone. Qualifying Zones are based on the 2011-2015 American Community Survey.”
The website states that the program “offers investors the following incentives for putting their capital to work in low-income communities:
• Investors can roll existing capital gains into Opportunity Funds with no up-front tax bill.
• A 5 year holding increases the rolled-over capital gains basis by 10%
• A 7 year holding increases the rolled-over capital gain investment basis 5% for a total of 15%
• Investors can defer their original tax bill until December 31, 2026 at the latest, or until they sell their Opportunity Fund investments, if earlier.
• Opportunity fund investments held in the fund for at least 10 years are not taxed for capital gains.
The website states that the Opportunity Zones nominated by McMaster are pending approval from the US Department of the Treasury.
Norman said Friday that “I am excited about this, because it is does increase our deficit. It is private companies willing to invest private equity back into the community and create the jobs we all want and need.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.