Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George released the following statement today in response to Gov. Sam Brownback’s signing into law of the Rural Opportunity Zones program.
“Rural Opportunity Zones will jump start economic growth in many areas in Kansas that have experienced dramatic population declines. We need people to move to these areas, and the ROZs program provides the state with a powerful incentive to do just that. This is a partnership between the state and counties to help them promote the state and bring back individuals to these areas.
“This is just the start of the Brownback Administration’s efforts to revive rural Kansas. I also hope that this program encourages businesses to consider setting up shop in ROZs counties.”
The program will take effect July 1, 2011. ROZs-designated counties are Barber, Chautauqua, Cheyenne, Clark, Cloud, Comanche, Decatur, Edwards, Elk, Gove, Graham, Greeley, Greenwood, Hamilton, Harper, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Mitchell, Morton, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rawlins, Republic, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Scott, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Trego, Thomas, Wallace, Washington, Wichita, Wilson and Woodson.
The main incentives of the program:
--Kansas will offer a state income tax rebate for up to five years to individuals who move to a ROZs county from outside the state. Individuals must have lived outside of Kansas for a least five years.
--The program offers up to $3,000 per year ($15,000 maximum benefit) in student loan forgiveness for individuals who graduate from an accredited post-secondary institution and move to a ROZs county.
For more information, to find a map of ROZs counties and a “Frequently Asked Questions” page, go to KansasCommerce.com/ruraldevelopment. Click on the “Rural Opportunity Zones” link on the upper-left side of the page.