Tompkins county lays out development targets for feds news ithaca.com west la college bookstore hours

As part of the united states congress’ recent passage of the tax cuts and jobs act of 2017, tompkins county officials on monday were presented with tompkins county area development’s recommendations of several areas in the county deemed eligible to be declared “opportunity zones,” census tracts that are singled out for tax incentives under a new federal program that “encourages private investment in low-income urban and rural communities.”

The program creates a mechanism for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into something called “opportunity funds,” which allows investors to temporarily defer any inclusion of certain realized gains in their gross income, as long as they are quickly re-invested in a project within a qualified "opportunity fund." the designations would be in place for 10 years and, though investors will receive varying tax benefits, the maximum benefits would accrue on investments made for a period of ten years or more.Tompkins county

“we look forward to working with governors to implement this important provision that will encourage private investments in communities that need it the most,” said secretary of the treasury steven T. Mnuchin, in a news release. “the resulting benefits will be jobs and economic growth to move these communities forward and provide a brighter future.”

Given the criteria laid out by the federal government, TCAD isolated 16 census tracts in tompkins county included among the 2,051 eligible tracts within new york state. However, given an allocation of just 513 tracts nationwide to be entered to the federal government for inclusion in the program, TCAD – after consulting numerous planners and other officials in tompkins county – plans to propose just six in advance of the government’s april 20th deadline.Census tracts most of those, according to a march 21 memo from the county’s department of planning and sustainability, will be focused in the city and town of ithaca.

According to the memo, in order for a project to be likely for selection by the governor, several criteria need to be in place: beyond being low income, targeted census tracts should also contain projects that are shovel-ready or already deep in the project review process; have already attracted investment from the state or private sector, have access to technological innovation or will be affected by housing speculation, and areas that need more investment to “reach the next stage.”

Tompkins county – and ithaca in particular – has plenty of these, aided by the capital afforded by the local universities, already booming local investment and a low income rate driven down largely by the massive student population.Census tracts optimistically hoping for the approval of three of their recommendations, TCAD recommended these six census tracts for the governor’s consideration, in order of priority:

Tract 8 – west end of downtown ithaca (including inlet island) which already has numerous projects planned in the area, including the immaculate conception school, along the inlet, the carpenter business park and potentially, a new site for the new york state department of transportation, which will help clear up even more space for waterfront development.

Tract 1 – the downtown core which counts four major projects in the planning stages (including the green street garage redevelopment) and numerous technology businesses active.

Tract 11 – south hill to nelson road which notably, includes the proposed massive redevelopment of the former morse chain facility and offers plenty of other light industrial and housing potential.Tompkins county

Tract 09 – west hill, including the route 96 corridor which has a number of housing projects in the pipeline. (this would only be eligible for the program if selected with tract 8 due to a rule that lumps certain types of tracts together that otherwise, would not be eligible on their own.)

Tract 14 – varna and east hill plaza which has one housing project already set to go, with several other sites, including a mixed-use site, potentially up for future development. (this would only be eligible if picked along with tract 13)

Tract 10 – inlet valley which has been the focus of a large-scale replanning effort in the town of ithaca to turn the city’s southern entryway into a hub of agritourism.

Other qualified sites in the city included collegetown, cornell’s campus, fall creek and ithaca college.Census tracts newfield, enfield, caroline and danby were also listed as eligible for the program, however, due to the limited infrastructure on the sites, they weren’t included in the application.

Asked by county legislature chair martha robertson why the rural zones weren’t seriously considered and whether or not the tax incentives would be substantial enough to encourage serious investment in less-than-attractive investment areas, TCAD director michael stamm put it simply: these proposals needed to be able to be competitive for developers on a national scale, and be able to offer a serious bid for private developers to put their money down and, in theory, create jobs.