GGEDC Applauds Creation of Opportunity Zones in McKinley County

24 May 2018


Gallup, NM - On Monday, Governor Susana Martinez announced that New Mexico had been officially added to the list of states with Qualified Opportunity Zones. McKinley County received three Opportunity Zone designations. The program was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and is designed to spur investment in economically distressed census tracts with tax incentives for investors.

Census tracts within McKinley County receiving Opportunity Zone designations were: (1) 9452, which primarily includes all of Gallup west of US Hwy 491 / 602 and includes the Gallup Municipal Airport, proposed Allison Interchange, and the Rico Property - a proposed site for the GIMC replacement facility; (2) 9439, which is west of Gallup and bounded on the west by the Arizona, I-40 on the south, and US Hwy 264 on the north and includes the Gallup Energy Logistics Park and the communities of Rock Springs, Manuelito, and Tsayatoh; and (3) 9460, which is located in eastern McKinley County and includes the communities of Thoreau, Prewitt, Smith Lake as well as the Escalante Generating Station and McKinley Paper.

“I am very excited about the prospects for Opportunity Zones. Attracting private investment into these census tracts will boost economic growth and job creation,” said Patty Lundstrom, GGEDC Executive Director. “The GGEDC will continue working with the state of New Mexico and the private sector to encourage investment and development in Opportunity Zones.

All total, only sixty-three Opportunity Zone designations were approved for New Mexico. Designated census tracts reflect key economic indicators (e.g. income, unemployment rate, property values) that also take into consideration the value of existing and potential investments, including those encouraged by state programs and incentives.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department worked with local stakeholders via county governments to submit a detailed questionnaire on eligible tracts in their area. Local stakeholders included private enterprise, economic development organizations, business organizations, councils of government, property owners/developers, tribal entities, and community organizations among others. New Mexico had 249 eligible tracts of which 128 were submitted for consideration. In turn, New Mexico nominated to the U.S. Treasury its full allotment of 63 tracts.