Developers in Orleans County have a new opportunity for investment.
The U.S. Treasury Department has designated the Village of Albion and parts of two surrounding towns as a Federal Opportunity Zone, providing tax benefits to investors.
The designation covers a single census tract, totaling 2,442 acres, that encompasses the village along with parts of the towns of Albion and Gaines, according to the Orleans County Economic Development Agency. Within the village alone, more than 1,700 parcels are included, said Albion Mayor Eileen Banker.
“This Opportunity Zone is a welcome designation for the central part of the county," said Jim Whipple, CEO of the Orleans County Economic Development Agency. "The tax benefits give us new tools to attract potential investment here in areas that are particularly suited for more real estate, retail, commercial and cultural development."
Created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed areas. Zones are low-income census tracts where at least 20% of individuals are impoverished and the median family income does not exceed 80% of the area median. Tax benefits for qualified investments can include deferral of taxes on prior gains and exclusion of a percentage of the gain.