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'Urban Opportunity Zones' Potentially Coming To Kansas City, Kansas

An offshoot of Kansas’ Rural Opportunity Zones program could be moving into Wyandotte County, pending approval from the state legislature.

Wyandotte County officials are optimistic that Gov. Sam Brownback will introduce the plan to the Kansas legislature soon. Brownback first debuted the idea for “Urban Opportunity Zones” on the campaign trail in August.

The zones would entice out-of-state residents to move into Kansas with a five-year income tax exemption, up to $15,000 in help for student loan payments, and significant property tax breaks for 15 years.

Unified Government spokesman Mike Taylor says the program could help attract out-of-state students into Kansas City, Kan.

"We could get a dentist, who just graduated from a dental school out of state, to come open a dental practice," Taylor says. "And he could get assistance with student loans that he has, as well as income tax breaks, and it would be beneficial for that neighborhood."

Taylor says the program could help invigorate parts of the Rosedale, Argentine and Quindaro communities if it's approved by the legislature. 

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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