RALEIGH, N.C. – Senator Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) issued the below statement calling on Congressman Mark Meadows to modify Transylvania County’s Opportunity Zone:
The Opportunity Zone tax incentive, enacted into law by Congress as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, offers tremendous opportunities for transformational impact, including new jobs and higher wages in low-income areas throughout the country.
With some slight modification, it could be a game-changing force to help revitalize the economy of Tranysvalyina County and other rural parts of our state.
North Carolina has just over 1,000 of these tracts, and only 252 tracts can be federally designated Opportunity Zones; Transylvania county has one.
My excitement for Transylvania County’s participation in the program was soon met with frustration after discovering a glaring problem. Sixty-five percent of the land area composition of the opportunity zone resides inside of the Pisgah National Forest, and development on national forest property is prohibited.
To address this significant barrier, I am calling on Congressman Mark Meadows to evaluate Transylvania County’s designated opportunity zone requirements and establish the process to modify opportunity zones to produce attractive, productive investments, that could likely include the abandoned Ecusta Mill site. The current law does not make any provision for modification.
Senator Edwards said, “I have sent a letter and spoken with Congressman Meadows, and I am encouraged with his determined optimism that Congress could soon allow us to make these needed modifications.”