BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger will announce new legislation on Tuesday designed to help bring federal economic development engines to Baltimore County’s Tradepoint Atlantic.
The act, called the Rust to Revitalization Act of 2022, aims to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 so that it includes a special rule on designating former industrial areas that share borders with “Opportunity Zone” is designated.
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Industrial locations such as Buick City in Flint, Michigan and Sparrows Point in Baltimore – home to Tradepoint Atlantic – are economically disadvantaged locations and ideal candidates for the Opportunity Zone program, created out to revive economically disadvantaged areas, according to congressional staffers.
Tradepoint Atlantic is a major logistics hub that will eventually employ 21,000 people at Sparrows Point, which was formerly home to the now-closed Bethlehem Steel plant, congressional staffers said.
But the old Internal Revenue Code requirements made places like Sparrows Point ineligible for the program.
That’s why Ruppersberger is proposing to extend Opportunity Zone status to areas with no population.
According to congressional staff, some signs of economic distress in unpopulated areas include widespread vacancies and industrial vacancies, chemical pollution and industrial sites. The old land may or may not be contaminated, known as the “brown land”.
And Tradepoint Atlantic is on brown land.
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Unpopulated areas have “unique potential to become centers of good and attainable jobs and local economic innovation without any risk of displacement. ,” the congressional staffer said in a one-page description of the law.
Rust to Revitalization Act of 2022 will certify and designate a census area as a qualified Opportunity Zone if it:
1. Has a population of zero (according to 2010 US Census Bureau Data);
2. Formerly used for industrial purposes and is the industrial zone of brown fields;
3. Contiguous to the census line on at least one side has been designated as an eligible opportunity area.
Ruppersberger will discuss the specifics of his legislation with Heather Gramm, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce, at an 11 a.m. news conference on Sparrows Point.
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Baltimore County Economic & Workforce Development Director, Leonard Howie, Turner Station community leaders, and Tradepoint Atlantic representatives will join them.
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/21/ruppersberger-aims-to-bring-economic-development-incentives-to-tradepoint-atlantic/ Ruppersberger aims to bring economic development incentives to Tradepoint Atlantic – CBS Baltimore