EDASC to host county's first opportunity zone informational session
Thursday, June 06, 2019
MOUNT VERNON – EDASC is hosting the county’s first opportunity zone informational session from 4 to 6:30 p.m. June 25 at the Best Western Plus Skagit Valley Inn and Convention Center.
The event features opportunity zone experts from the National Development Council, HUD and tax experts. Mayors from Sedro-Woolley, Anacortes and Mount Vernon will also highlight the goals for their respective opportunity zones.
Those encouraged to attend include property and business owners, realtors, investors, developers and professional service providers.
Event partners include the State Department of Commerce, National Development Council, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Community Action of Skagit County is the event sponsor to showcase its property, located in a Mount Vernon opportunity zone.
Opportunity zones are the product of a relatively new tax law offering investors preferential capital gains tax treatment for projects creating housing, jobs or both in economically-distressed census tracts.
Essentially, investors in opportunity zones who meet certain criteria receive capital gains tax deferrals or reductions in return for investments helping boost these economically-distressed census tracts.
Great diversity exists within Skagit County’s four opportunity zones. Anacortes’ opportunity zone incorporates much of southern Commercial Avenue and the neighborhoods north of Mount Erie Elementary School. It’s a mix of residential neighborhoods, Island Hospital, commercial establishments and the Samish Indian Nation’s tribal headquarters.
Mount Vernon’s opportunity zones, of which there are two, include downtown, the western end of College Way and part of Skagit Valley Hospital. Sedro-Woolley’s opportunity zone stretches north from the city center through commercial and industrial areas.
EDASC CEO John Sternlicht attended a two-day opportunity zone workshop in late April in Denver hosted by national CPA firm Novogradac. The workshop took a deep dive into the investment process.
Sternlicht came away with a deeper understanding of the investment process and learned about nonprofits and other resources that assist those investing in opportunity zones. He said opportunity zone investments are for those with a significant amount of capital, likely in the $1 million-plus range, resulting in tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax savings.