On April 20, 2018, two census tracts in Ellensburg were designated as Opportunity Zones by Governor Inslee “Opportunity Zones have the potential to provide a much-needed boost to communities and target development projects, strengthening the local economies and creating jobs,” said Gov. Inslee.
“Opportunity Zone status could be a useful tool to help strengthen these communities by encouraging capital investment,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “While we had many more requests than available tracts, I believe we ended up with a good balance of urban-rural and economic development and housing opportunities.”
The Opportunity Zone program was a bipartisan proposal in Congress incorporated into in the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs act, allowing the governor of every state to designate up to 25 percent of eligible census tracts as Opportunity Zones. Investments made through special funds in these zones will be able to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains.