Wednesday | April 27, 2016

Senator Scott Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Stimulate Local Economies in Impoverished Communities

Washington- Today U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced theInvesting in Opportunity Act, a bipartisan bill proposing a new solution to encourage economic growth and job creation in economically distressed communities. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI) joined Scott to introduce the bill, which offers a temporary capital gains deferral in exchange for reinvesting those dollars into distressed communities.

Currently, more than 30 percent of South Carolina's population, or 1.4 million people, live in an economically distressed area, a number that rises to 50 million Americans nationwide. With American investors currently holding trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains, theInvesting in Opportunity Actprovides an innovative framework for reinvesting those dollars into communities that need it most.

"We must look for innovative solutions to help the millions of Americans living in poverty and in distressed communities around the nation," Scott said. "With investors holding trillions ininactivecapital,I believe theInvesting in Opportunity Actprovides a conduit to encourage private investment in communities that are suffering."

Scott continued, "I know that for so many living in low-income communities, all folks are looking for is the opportunity to succeed. TheInvesting in Opportunity Actcan provide the chance that entrepreneurs and small businesses are looking for to grow, innovate and create jobs. I want to thank Senator Booker and Representatives Tiberi and Kind for their work on this important legislation, and I look forward to building support in Congress for our bill."

TheInvesting in Opportunity Actopens the door for private investment in economically distressed communities in the following ways:

  • Removes a barrierto investment through a temporary capital gains deferral in exchange for reinvesting in distressed communities
  • Encourages investors from across the nation topool resourcesthrough newly-created "Opportunity Funds" -- established specifically for making investments in distressed communities
  • Concentrates capitalby establishing "Opportunity Zones" -- geographically targeted low-income areas that will be designated by governors
  • Provides incentives for investors to makelong-term commitmentsto these communities

Research by the Economic Innovation Group recently found thatmore than 50 million Americanslive in economically distressed communities, which suffer from a lack of investment and business growth. The Opportunity Funds created by this legislation will provide a high-impact source for funding new businesses, developing blighted properties, investing in local infrastructure projects, financing facility construction or refurbishment, and a host of other activities to new opportunities for local residents and enhance the local economy.

Senator Scott's Opportunity Agenda includes theInvesting in Opportunity Act, as well as theCHOICE ActandLEAP Act, which focus on education and workforce development. To read more about his agenda, visithttps://www.scott.senate.gov/OpportunityAgenda.