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Louisiana 'Opportunity Zones' to bring more investments into communities

Opportunity Zones in Iberia Parish
Posted at 5:38 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 19:04:55-04

NEW IBERIA — The Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 is slowly starting to affect Acadiana. According to Invest Acadiana,nine parishes now have designated 'Opportunity Zones'. This means more money in investors' pockets.
The city of New Iberia is one of 25 areas in Acadiana with an opportunity zone.

Iberia Industrial Development President Mike Tarantino says the zone allows investors to save money on taxes.

"The Opportunity Zone allows investors to defer paying taxes on their capital gain, so you have an opportunity to take from you investments, and re-invest those capital gains in a new project, which will allow you to defer paying taxes until I think 2026."

Almost all of New Iberia is within the zone. Parish President Larry Richard says he would like to see that expand.

"I wish we had the opportunity zone at the airport. You know in more rural area, that's where were looking to bring in more infrastructure," Richard says.

The President added, "We have an opportunity zone, we're going to work with what we have, and we're going to bring In more opportunities into that part of the parish."

The federal government sets the list of places/organizations that can be invested in for the tax break. City leaders are working on that list and say it should be complete by October. These lists are known as Prospectus and Lafayette Parish recently released their list. Find that here.

Tarantino and Richard both say the zone will help the parish.

"It's a great opportunity for economic development investment in the community to create business opportunities, infrastructure investment which leads to more jobs for our citizens," Tarantino said.