Local groups look to educate the community on "opportunity zones"

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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 14, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Local organizations and agencies are working to educate the community about the incentives to invest in "opportunity zones."

Opportunity zones are areas designated by the federal government based on census tracts. They represent low income areas, and are a way to boost economic development by offering tax breaks to those who invest in those areas.

Leon County has eight opportunity zones, which are combined into five districts. Those include the Magnetic NW, FSU Central, Greater Frenchtown, FAMU Central and Greater Southside.

Pastor Greg James said investment in these eight areas will help benefit the people who live there.

"Once the community of the people is enriched, the whole structure has power. Because now the people take value," he said.

James is serving as the director of the Florida Urban Revitalization Coalition. He's taking part in a 70 city revitalization tour, engaging with communities about how opportunity zones work and benefit the areas. The first stop of the tour is in Tallahassee on Friday.

"(Through this, residents) can become empowered. And they realize, that individuals revitalizing the community and structure is one thing, but being able to revitalize the people is another. That's our focus," he said.

The Friday stop is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Civic Center. White House representatives, Governor Ron DeSantis, Mayor Dailey and more will be there. It is open to the public.

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