Ohio companies are responding to the new law with more investment in plants and equipment, pay raises, bonuses, higher 401(k) matches, and more. This is exactly what Senator Portman and others had in mind when Congress enacted long-overdue tax reform legislation designed to encourage more economic growth, investment and more money in the pockets of Ohio families.  But a number of provisions in the new law haven’t received significant attention, including one based on the bipartisan Investing in Opportunity Act, authored by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and cosponsored by Senator Portman.  Similar to the New Markets Tax Credit that Portman has consistently championed, the measure encourages greater investment in distressed communities by allowing U.S. investors to use a temporary capital gains deferral in exchange for investing capital in these communities.  

Here’s what the New York Times reported this morning:

“A little-noticed section in the $1.5 trillion tax cut that President Trump signed into law late last month is drawing attention from venture capitalists, state government officials and mayors across America.

“The provision, on Page 130 of the tax overhaul, is an attempt to grapple with a yawning hole in the recovery from the Great Recession: the fact that, in huge swaths of the country, the economic recovery has yet to arrive.

“The law creates ‘Opportunity Zones,’ which will use tax incentives to draw long-term investment to parts of America that continue to struggle with high poverty and sluggish job and business growth. The provision is the first new substantial federal attempt to aid those communities in more than a decade. And it comes as a disproportionate share of economic growth has been concentrated in so-called superstar metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and New York.

“If the zones succeed, they could help revitalize neighborhoods and towns that are starved for investment.”

Here’s what Senator Portman said about the Investing in Opportunity Act, which is now the law of the land as part of tax reform:

“Too many low-income Ohioans have been left behind as our broken tax code hampered economic growth.  I’m pleased that the Investing in Opportunity Act was included in our landmark tax reform package to pave the way for long-term investments in Ohio’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, which in turn means more jobs and opportunities for the families in distressed communities across our state. Every hard-working Ohioan should be able to reach their God-given potential.”

The Toledo Blade editorial board called the new tax reform law, which Senator Portman helped craft, a “home run.”  The help provided to distressed communities in Ohio and across America is another reason why this law lives up to its praise.