In Columbus, Portman Participates in Roundtable Highlighting Economic Benefits of Opportunity Zones

Portman Fought for New Opportunity Zones Tax Incentive in Tax Reform to Encourage Investment and Job Creation in Low-Income Communities

August 2, 2019 | Press Releases

COLUMBUS, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) participated in a roundtable highlighting economic benefits of Opportunity Zones hosted at Gravity, a new development in Franklinton that features apartments, offices, restaurants and event space. In addition, members of the Ohio Business Roundtable, the Columbus Chamber, the Columbus Partnership, Columbus 2020, the City of Columbus, and other local entrepreneurial leaders participated in the discussion. As part of the tax reform law, Portman fought for a new tax incentive called “Opportunity Zones” that is designed to encourage investment and job creation in low-income communities.

Ohio designated 320 low-income census tracts across the state as Opportunity Zones under the new tax law. This allows investors and companies to defer paying capital gains taxes on investments in exchange for committing to invest that additional money into Opportunity Zones long-term, with additional tax benefits available depending on the length of the Opportunity Zone investment. Franklin County is poised to benefit from Opportunity Zone designations. 

“I enjoyed today’s discussion on the benefits of Opportunity Zones and how they can help spur economic development and job creation in low-income communities in the Columbus area,” said Portman. “The middle-class tax cut and tax reform have led to more jobs, higher wages, bonuses, new equipment, and increased investment in workers’ benefits. Opportunity Zones have the potential to boost investments and jobs in struggling communities throughout Ohio. This is exactly what Congress intended to accomplish when we crafted this new law. I appreciated the feedback I received today, and I will continue working to improve the economy and help working families and small businesses succeed and flourish.” 

Since the tax reform passage, Portman has visited KrogerWorldpay Inc., Helping Hands, and the Sheffer Corporation, and hosted a roundtable with the Uptown Consortium in Cincinnati, the UH Rainbow Center for Women and Children and Tremco in Cleveland, the Fredon Corporation and Steris Corporation in Mentor, GKM Auto Parts in Zanesville, Wolf Metals in Columbus, Bruns General Contracting in Tipp City, Lima Pallet Company in Lima, Velvet Ice Cream in Utica, ProMedica in Toledo, the Bowery Project and the Ronald McDonald House in Akron, the YMCA in Youngstown, Ariel Corporation in Mt. Vernon, and Dayton Children’s Hospital.  In addition, he has hosted a roundtable with members of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association in Columbus, a roundtable with the North Canton Chamber of Commerce, a roundtable with members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and a roundtable with Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce. At each event, Portman has heard positive examples of how the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has helped these businesses create new jobs, invest in new plants and equipment, increase wages, pay bonuses, increase charitable giving, reinstate health care, expand 401(k) benefits, and make additional contributions to employee pension plans. This past May, Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor highlighting economic benefits of Opportunity Zones.

Photos from the event are below: