Senator Vin Gopal supports Governor Phil Murphy’s designation of 169 Opportunity Zones throughout the state, including six in Monmouth County. These include: Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune Township and Red Bank.
“I am grateful to Gov. Murphy for including these Monmouth County communities in the Opportunity Zone Program. I am confident this initiative will encourage long-term capital improvements in each of these communities and in turn, generate economic growth on a local level.
“We must continue to support the revitalization of our municipalities, particularly in Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune Township and Red Bank. These communities have evolved in recent years to become desirable business destinations that attract both consumers and homeowners. Through this program, we can continue to foster economic growth in these communities and Monmouth County at large.”
Opportunity Zones are a community development program established by Congress in 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. The Opportunity Zones program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing into Opportunity Zones designated by the chief executives of every U.S. state and territory.
Under federal legislation, eligible Opportunity Zones were census tracts with a poverty rate of 20 percent or a median family income of up to 80 percent of the area median. Gov. Murphy was authorized to designate up to 25 percent of the state’s eligible low-income census tracts (up to 169 tracts) as Opportunity Zones. Designated Census tracts reflect key economic indicators, including income, unemployment rate, and property values, that also take into consideration geographic distribution, access to transit, and the value of existing investments, including those encouraged by state programs and incentives.