Alliance supports Assembly Bill 532 to enhance Wisconsin Opportunity Zones

Legislation advances to Governor’s office for approval

Assembly Bill 532, which the Alliance has supported, has passed the Assembly and Senate and advanced to Governor Evers for signature. This important legislation aims to connect Wisconsin’s most economically challenged communities with private capital that is necessary to drive economic growth and job creation.

Assembly Bill 532, which passed the Assembly and Senate with strong bipartisan support, would enhance Wisconsin tax benefits under the federal Opportunity Zones program established by Congress in 2017. Under the program, low-income community census tracts were used to determine eligible Opportunity Zones to ensure private investment is directed to economically distressed communities. Wisconsin has 120 Opportunity Zones, which are in every congressional district, 44 counties and 60 municipalities across the state.

Ultimately, the Opportunity Zones program aims to unlock billions of dollars in unrealized capital gains by offering tax incentives that encourage investors to reinvest their gains into Opportunity Zone projects, including business expansion and start-ups and significant commercial and residential development.

By doubling the Opportunity Zones capital gains tax reduction at the state level for individuals who invest in Wisconsin Opportunity Zone projects, AB 532 would encourage Wisconsin investors to keep their wealth in Wisconsin to help create inclusive economic opportunities in both urban and rural communities. These Opportunity Zones projects will have a positive impact on communities in terms of job creation and retention and other community needs, such as affordable housing, quality childcare facilities and healthy food retailers.

If signed into law, AB 532 will provide investors with valuable tax benefits, entrepreneurs with access to additional capital and Wisconsin communities with a much-needed economic boost. In short, the legislation will make Wisconsin an even better place to live, work and do business.