WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Valley is home to new special taxing zones where economic development directors hope new business can take root.

Opportunity Zones” were authorized under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, designed to provide tax incentives to investors who fund businesses in underserved communities. The Wenatchee Valley is home to four such zones: Two in the city of Wenatchee south of Fifth Street, including downtown and the Columbia River waterfront; and two large rural zones in outlying Chelan and Douglas counties. (There are also Opportunity Zones on the outskirts of Moses Lake and Shelton.) They allow investors to defer some taxes for up to nine years on the projects they finance.

Local economic planners are hoping to make some hay with the new zones, in the areas of business and housing. One Chelan County district encompasses the old Alcoa Wenatchee Works, where aluminum was processed until its shutdown idled more than 400 workers in 2015. And downtown, the Chelan PUD is looking at ways to redevelop its longstanding headquarters when it moves out of the facility in the next few years.

Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013

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