April 5, 2018

Rep. Michael Morin at (401) 265-0910


Rep. Morin urges designation of Blackstone Valley communities as opportunity zones


STATE HOUSE — Rep. Michael Morin (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket) is urging Gov. Gina Raimondo to designate several communities in the Blackstone Valley as Qualified Opportunity Zones.

Representative Morin cosponsored a resolution (2018-H 7915) that was introduced by Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren) and passed by the House of Representatives requests that the governor and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, in consultation and collaboration with the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, utilize all available resources to designate the Blackstone River corridor municipalities of Providence, Woonsocket, East Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls as a Qualified Opportunity Zone.

Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 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.

“In distressed communities, where household incomes are far below the national level, 6 percent of jobs have been lost between 2011 and 2015,” said Representative Morin. “Receiving the opportunity zone designation may be just the catalyst these communities need to promote investment and raise income above the poverty level. The communities along the Blackstone Valley Corridor would certainly benefit from the designation.”

Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli Hunt, who has responded to the proposal by sending a list of four census tracts to Commerce RI for review, said, “It can certainly open the door for the city of Woonsocket for future development. We believe it would make it appealing to investors to be near an area that is looking to become active again. This could be extremely beneficial for our Main Street area and the entire city. I want to thank everyone who sponsored the legislation. I think it shows how Rep. Morin has a true pulse on the entire city of Woonsocket and knows the issues that will help us get to a better place.”







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