SC senator visits NH to tour opportunity zones

A rising star in the Republican Party is visiting New Hampshire, but he said he doesn’t have his eye on a future run for the White House.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, toured the Manchester Fire Department’s Safe Station program and visited a recovery-friendly workplace. He said he hopes that additional help in the opioid crisis could come in the form of jobs.

“We’re looking for a way to attract new capital in the private sector into areas of states where the need is the greatest,” Scott said.

Federal tax reform included the senator’s idea for “opportunity zones,” which incentivize investment in areas that struggle economically.

“If you make a long-term investment in one of the zones designated by the governor, you defer your capital gains tax burden for up to 10 years,” he said. “While you’re making that long-term investment, whatever you’re investing in, business or real estate, as that investment appreciates, you pay no additional capital gains on that appreciation.”

New Hampshire has 27 zones, including the Manchester Millyard, Claremont and Berlin. Gov. Chris Sununu said investments are already being made.

“You combine that with what we’re doing with the recovery-friendly workplaces, which is an employee-driven program really providing support systems for those in recovery,” Sununu said. “Sen. Scott really understands there’s a match there.”

The visit is part of a national tour that’s taking Scott around the country to other newly created opportunity zones. While he is considered a rising star in the Republican Party, the senator said he’s not thinking about running for president someday.

“That is not even on my mind,” he said. “I don’t know how that would happen. It would be a miracle of God. Right now, my goal is to serve the people as I can, and then one day, I’ll look for greener pastures, perhaps ministry or business or something.”