ProJo: R.I. eyes economic incentive offered in controversial federal tax law

Rhode Island's Democratic elected leaders, many of whom opposed the $1.5-trillion tax-cut bill passed by congressional Republicans earlier this year, are hoping a program within it will help jump-start the Blackstone Valley economy.

With no discussion, the state House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution designating “the Blackstone River Corridor Municipalities of Providence, Woonsocket, East Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls as Qualified Opportunity Zones” under the new tax law.

The Qualified Opportunity Zone program allows Gov. Gina Raimondo's administration to name census tracts within the state where investments would receive a federal tax break. She can still choose tracts outside the 5 cities, Commerce Corporation Spokesman Matt Sheaff said.

Precisely what type of projects or investments might benefit from the program is difficult to say, and Commerce Corporation officials declined to speculate. They also declined to comment on whether investment in a ballpark would qualify.

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Courtesy of Providence Journal

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