More economic development should be headed to the Texarkana area with TexAmericas Center receiving a significant designation.

According to a release from the center, the census tract containing TexAmericas Center has been designated a federal Opportunity Zone within the State of Texas which should lead to economic revitalization for the region.

“We are excited what the Opportunity Zone designation means for TexAmericas Center as we continue to recruit new business and industry to the Greater Texarkana Region,” said Scott Norton, Executive Director/ CEO of TexAmericas Center. “With competition from around the world, recruiting quality industries with good paying jobs is a significant challenge and any new incentive we can offer for our region is a win. Our focus has always been on creating quality jobs for the residents of the greater Texarkana region … this is another tool to help in our mission.”

TexAmericas Center is part of the census tract which also includes the City of Hooks, Texas. Six additional census tracts across Bowie County were also included in the recommendation and received the federal designation.

TexAmericas Center Board Chairman, Boyd Sartin stated, “President Trump’s new program is a perfect fit for our 12,000 acres of development ready property. We have industrial quality utilities, rail and interstate access, close proximity to a commercial airport and a labor surplus. We have grown the number of jobs at our industrial park by 14.5% since 2014, this program is going to quicken our success rate. Companies need to contact us to learn more.”

The Opportunity Zone was included in President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 designed to help bolster local economic impact by providing incentives to businesses developing in low-income areas.

Companies investing in TexAmericas Center and other designated opportunity zones can receive benefits which include: a temporary deferral of inclusion in taxable income for capital gains reinvested in an opportunity fund; a step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an opportunity fund; and a permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains from the sale or exchange of an investment in an opportunity fund if the investment is held for at least ten (10) years.

“Designating TexAmericas Center as a federal Opportunity Zone is a huge win for the entire Texarkana Region,” said Eric Voyles, Executive Vice President, Chief Economic Development Officer of TexAmericas Center. “Including this business incentive on top of our existing incentives Foreign Trade Zone and HUBZone as well as New Market Tax Credit eligibility allows us to be even more competitive when competing for businesses seeking to relocate to Texas.”

In March, Governor Greg Abbot designated 628 of the states 3,190 qualified, low-income census tracts across the state as Qualified Census Tracts for consideration with all but one receiving the federal designation. Each state could designate up to 25 percent of their eligible low-income census tracts as Opportunity Zones.

“This program will highlight areas of Texas that are prime for business investment, and it will serve to bring more opportunities to hardworking families across the entire state,” said Gov. Greg Abbott.

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