By David Tuma, Publisher
The City of Belton submitted an application to the state, seeking designation of parts of Belton as an Opportunity Zone. This is a state-administered program, which emerged as a result of the recent Federal Tax Relief Law. This new program encourages private investment in areas of economic distress, allowing deferral of capital gains. Under this Federal law, the Governor of Texas can designate 25 percent of eligible census tracts statewide.
Belton’s Grants Coordinator Bob van Til assembled the information to Cynthia Hernandez, Executive Director for the Belton Economic Development Corporation. The program establishes a mechanism that enables investors with capital gains tax liabilities to receive favorable tax treatment for investing in Opportunity Funds that are certified by the U.S. Treasury Department. The Opportunity Funds use the capital invested to make equity investments in businesses and real estate in Opportunity Zones designated by each state.
Five areas of the country produce as many new businesses as the rest of the country combined. This new program is designed to encourage investment in areas that are determined distressed.
The City of Belton is doing an assessment of the Lena Armstrong Library. City staff has toured a few libraries to get a few ideas. Cost of the assessment is $12,500. A study is also being done on the aging Fire Station on Penelope Street.