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Rubio, Scott Introduce Disaster Opportunity Zones Act to Aid Communities Recovering from Natural Disasters

Apr 3, 2019 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Disaster Opportunity Zones Act (DOZA), which would allow governors to nominate areas affected by 2018 hurricanes and California wildfires as opportunity zones to stimulate local economies and encourage private investment for disaster recovery.

Specifically, DOZA would enact a new round of opportunity zone designations for low-income census tracts in selected 2018 disaster areas. The process would be identical to the opportunity zones enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and certified tracts would be eligible for the same tax treatment as the TCJA opportunity zones. North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and California governors would select up to the greater of 25 percent, or 25, qualified low-income census tracts affected by natural disasters to be disaster opportunity zones. Like the TCJA, the new opportunity zones would be approved by the U.S. Treasury. A one pager of the bill is available here.

“Local communities devastated by recent natural disasters, like Hurricane Michael, are still struggling to recover from the catastrophic loss of jobs and business,” Rubio said. “The Disaster Opportunity Zones Act would help stimulate local economies and encourage private investment from job creators by allowing many of these areas to become opportunity zones.”

Scott said, “The Disaster Opportunity Zones Act will make a real and lasting difference for our communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. I’m proud to sponsor this bill to bring new capital investment and more jobs to Florida’s Panhandle as we continue to recover and rebuild following Hurricane Michael. Over my eight years as Governor, I fought every day to make sure every Floridian had the opportunity to live their version of the American Dream. This bill will build on that work and continue to expand economic opportunity for Florida families.”