Washington, D.C. – In a major step toward helping distressed communities nationwide, the bipartisan Investing in Opportunity Act (IIOA) passed out of the Finance Committee as a part of the tax reform bill that will be voted on by the full Senate in the coming weeks. The IIOA incentivizes investment in economically distressed areas by allowing trillions of dollars in private capital to be used to encourage small businesses, support entrepreneurs, and to develop dilapidated properties in zip codes most in need of a resurgence.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a cosponsor, joined the legislation’s lead sponsor, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), along with several of their colleagues, in issuing statements following the IIOA’s inclusion in the tax reform bill:
“I am thrilled that our legislation, the Investing in Opportunity Act, has been included in the Senate tax reform plan,” said Sen. Ernst (R-IA). “This provision compliments much-needed tax relief for low and middle-income earners. By incentivizing private investment in struggling communities, it would spur economic growth in poverty-stricken areas, bringing hope and opportunity back to many distressed rural communities in Iowa.”
“Since I entered Congress, my goal was simple: create opportunity for everyday Americans wherever possible,” said Scott. “It is a passion because I grew up in a single-parent household, surrounded in poverty, with very little expectation that I would find my way to success. But I learned that opportunity can truly be the difference that changes the course of one’s life. I know that when the IIOA is passed, when it actually reaches the people it’s intended to help, the results will be truly amazing because it will help everyday people in South Carolina and beyond build their way to a brighter future.”
“It’s time to give our middle class the boost they need following several years of job loss and economic distress,” said Sen. Capito (R-WV).“The Investing in Opportunity Act can help spur growth in these communities and level the playing field, creating new opportunity in West Virginia and other regions. I’m pleased to see it included in the latest version of the Senate’s tax proposal.”
“As a fifth generation Coloradan who grew up on the Eastern Plains, I know how important it is to attract growth to local communities, and particularly rural communities, in Colorado,” said Sen. Gardner (R-CO). “The Investing in Opportunity Act will encourage investment, incite growth, and extend opportunities to communities that are struggling. This commonsense legislation is a stepping stone to restoring faith in the American Dream for some people who feel like they have been left behind.”
"Too many low-income Ohioans have been left behind as our broken tax code hampered economic growth," said Sen. Portman (R-OH). "I’m pleased that the Investing in Opportunity Act was included in our landmark tax reform package to pave the way for long-term investments in Ohio’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, which in turn means more jobs and opportunities for the families in distressed communities across our state. Every hard-working Ohioan should be able to reach their God-given potential."
"Lack of opportunity is a common circumstance in distressed communities across the country," said Sen. Young (R-IN). "This proposal is a common-sense way to unleash investment and entrepreneurship in distressed communities to create hope and new opportunity. Ultimately, this is exactly the kind of behavior we should strive to promote and incentivize."
There are currently 52 million Americans living in distressed communities across the country, and trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains sitting on the sidelines. The IIOA would provide an opportunity for U.S. investors to use a temporary capital gains referral in exchange for investing the capital in these communities. This public-private partnership will create new channels for investment that will grow jobs, inspire entrepreneurship, and improve the local economy for future generations.