The Wisconsin Opportunity Zones Development Act, a WEDA legislative priority that would leverage the federal Opportunity Zones incentive to help keep Wisconsin wealth in Wisconsin, recently cleared two key legislative committees.

Last week, the Senate Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions Committee passed the legislation on a bipartisan vote. Then earlier today, the Assembly Ways and Means Committee followed suit, unanimously approving the proposal.

The legislation now moves to the full Assembly and Senate for further consideration.

Under the Opportunity Zones program – established by Congress in 2017 to drive long-term investments to the nation’s most economically challenged communities – low-income community census tracts were used to determine eligible Opportunity Zones. Wisconsin has 120 Opportunity Zones, which are in every congressional district, 44 counties and 60 municipalities across the state.

The Wisconsin bill would double the Opportunity Zones capital gains tax reduction at the state level for investors who invest in Wisconsin Qualified Opportunity Funds – which are required to hold at least 90% of their assets in Wisconsin Opportunity Zone projects.

In addition to encouraging Wisconsin investors to reinvest their capital in Wisconsin communities, and not out of state, the bill will also help drive the development of much-needed workforce housing across Wisconsin.