WASHINGTON, D.C. [April 22, 2019 ] — Brunswick County Board of Commissioners Chairman Frank Williams was one of two North Carolina County Commissioners who attended the White House Opportunity Zone Conference with State, local, tribal, and community leaders on Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2019. Williams, who serves as 2nd Vice President of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners (NCACC), joined NCACC 1st Vice President Ronnie Smith of Martin County in attending the conference.

“It was exciting to learn more about how opportunity zones incentivize private investors to invest in impoverished and under-served communities,” said Williams. “I look forward to further exploring how this program can be leveraged to benefit Brunswick County and other North Carolina counties.”

Martin County Commissioner Ronnie Smith & Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams

President Donald J. Trump delivered remarks at the conference, stating that the Opportunity Zones provision is “really a crucial part of our new tax law to help low-income Americans.”

According to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Opportunity Zones website, the Opportunity Zones Program (Sec. 13823) provides tax incentives for qualified investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into low-income communities throughout the state, and across the country. Low-income census tracks are areas where the poverty rate is 20% or greater and/or family income is less than 80% of the area’s median income. Investments made by qualified entities known as Opportunity Funds into certified Opportunity Zones will receive three key federal tax incentives to encourage investment in low-income communities, including temporary tax deferral for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund, step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund and permanent exclusion from taxable income of long-term capital gains.

According to a release from the White House, Opportunity Zones are a critical part of President Trump’s efforts to bring economic opportunity to communities that have been left behind. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) included a new Opportunity Zones incentive designed to bring investment to struggling communities across the country. Over 8,700 communities in all 50 states, D.C. and five U.S. territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones. State, local, tribal, and community leaders have championed Opportunity Zones and today’s conference sought to highlight and explore further opportunities to maximize investment and development.

President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at the Opportunity Zone Conference with state, local, tribal and community leaders in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

According to a release from the White House, the following individuals were scheduled to attend the conference:

The White House
President Donald J. Trump
Brooke Rollins, Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives
Larry Kudlow, Assistant to the President & Director, National Economic Council
Joe Grogan, Assistant to the President & Director, Domestic Policy Council
Kevin Hassett, Assistant to the President & Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
Doug Hoelscher, Deputy Assistant to the President & Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Tim Pataki, Deputy Assistant to the President & Director, Office of Public Liaison
Ja’Ron Smith, Deputy Assistant to the President, Office of American Innovation
Francis Brooke, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, National Economic Council
Ben Hobbs, Special Assistant to the President, Domestic Policy Council
Rosemary Lahasky, Special Assistant to the President & Director of Domestic Issues, Office of Economic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship
James Redstone, Special Assistant to the President, Domestic Policy Council
William Crozer, Special Assistant to the President & Deputy Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Nic Pottebaum, Special Assistant to the President & Deputy Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Scott Turner, Executive Director, White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council

Trump Administration
Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Department of the Treasury
Secretary Ben Carson, Department of Housing and Urban Development
Michael Faulkender, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, Department of the Treasury
Mark Cruz, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy and Economic Development, Department of the Interior
Laura Peter, Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trade Office
Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of Education
Molly Conway, Deputy Chief of Staff and Acting Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor
Bette Brand, Administrator for Rural Business Service, Department of Agriculture
Bill Manger, Associate Administrator, Office of Capital Access, Small Business Administration, Small Business Association
Dan Kowalski, Counselor to the Secretary, Department of the Treasury
Michael Costigan, Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
McKenzie Snow, Special Assistant and Policy Advisor, Department of Education
Alfonso Costa, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Housing and Urban Development
Loren Smith, Senior Advisor, Office of the Undersecretary for Policy, Department of Transportation, Department of Transportation
Bill Manger, Associate Administrator, Office of Capital Access, Small Business Administration, Small Business Association

State, Local, Tribal, & Community Leaders
Scott Andes, Program Director, City Innovation Ecosystems, National League of Cities
Joseph Baker, Mayor of Dacono, Colorado
Travis Blosser, Deputy Executive Director, West Virginia Municipal League
Timothy Blute, Director of National Governors Association Future, National Governors Association
David Bornn, Chief Counsel, Office of Governor Albert Bryan, U.S. Virgin Islands
David Bowman, Mayor of Montrose, Colorado
Ruby Brabo, Supervisor, King George County, Virginia
Bruce Bracker, Vice Chairman, Santa Cruz County, Arizona
Edward Brady, Deputy Secretary, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
Sharon Carney, Economic Strategy Director, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development, Washington, D.C.
Taylor Caswell, Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs
Ginger Chinn, Managing Director of Urban & Rural Business Services, Office of Economic Development
Henry Colvin, Mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina
Jill Connors, Economic Development Director, Dubuque, Iowa
Tony Copeland, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce, North Carolina
Daniel Corona, Mayor of West Wendover, Nevada
Daria Daniel, Associate Legislative Director for Community, Economic and Workforce Development, National Association of Counties
Samuel DeMarco, Councilman, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Marc DeMott, Commissioner, Colquitt County, Georgia
Beverly Donovan, Economic Development Director, Town of Derry, New Hampshire
Andrew Dorsett, Town Manager, Town of Littleton, New Hampshire
George Endicott, Mayor of Redmond, Oregon
Terrence Evans, Councilman, Gila River Indian Community
Rick Figueroa, Commissioner, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Texas
George Flaggs, Mayor of Vicksburg, Mississippi
Jennifer Fletcher, Deputy Secretary, South Carolina Department of Commerce
Brian Foster, Alderman, Savannah, Georgia
Paul Freitas, Town Administrator, Plymouth, New Hampshire
Wesley Henderson, Executive Director, Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities
State Representative Joshua Higginbotham, West Virginia
Juanzena Johnson, Executive Director, National Black Caucus of State Legislators
Graham Knaus, Executive Director, California State Association of Counties
David Kooris, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development,
Jeff Kraft, Director, Business Funding & Incentives, Colorado Economic Development and International Trade
KV Kumar, National Chair & CEO, Indian American Chamber of Commerce
State Senator Daniel Laughlin, Pennsylvania
Tamika Ledbetter, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Robert Legare, Mayor of Aurora, Colorado
Joshua Levy, Mayor of Hollywood, Florida
Stephen Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community
Forrest McDaniel, Commissioner, Rome, Georgia
Timothy McDonough, Mayor of Hope Township, New Jersey
Elijah McIntosh, Secretary of the Nation & Commerce, Muscogee Nation
Carlos Mendez, Mayor of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Melanie Mendiola, Administrator of Guam Economic Development Authority
Miles Menetrey, Supervisor, Mariposa County, California
Gregory Mengarelli, Mayor of Prescott, Arizona
Kunal Merchant, President, CalOZ
Daffney Moore, City Manager, East St. Louis, Illinois
Bonnie Moore, Director of Community Development, City of Shreveport, Louisiana
Cory Noonan, Commissioner, Allen County, Ohio
Timothy Nuvangyaoma, Chairman, Hopi Tribe
Malachi O’Brien, Pastor and Executive Team Member, One Cry
Jennifer Olson, Administrator of the Community Development Division, Montana Department of Commerce
James Parks, Supervisor, Coconino County, Arizona
Russell Paul, Mayor of Sandy Springs, Georgia
Ramiro Pena, Senior Pastor, Christ the King Baptist Church
Matt Peters, Assistant Director, Ohio Development Services Agency
Chad Peterson, Vice Chairman, Cass County, North Dakota
William Pikolycky, Mayor of Woodbine, New Jersey
Rurico Pintado, Mayor of Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Mike Preston, Executive Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Lamont Price, Director, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
Stefan Pryor, Director, Rhode Island Department of Commerce
Cassidy Rasnick, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Virginia Department of Commerce and Trade
Fred Reeves, Mayor of Port Gibson, Mississippi
Keith Richel, Mayor of Silt, Colorado
Ramon Rivera, Mayor, Baymon, Puerto Rico
Nicole Ryf, Director of Business & Community Development, Texas Department of Economic Development & Tourism
Ben Seigel, Baltimore Opportunity Zones Coordinator, Baltimore Development Corporation
Adrian Servetnick, Deputy Director of Policy and Strategy, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Fuad Seweiss, Executive Director, Santa Ana Public Works
John Sikes, Chairman, Toombs County, Georgia
Sara Smallwood Cocke, Director of Public Policy, Choctaw Nation
Ronnie Smith, Vice President, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners
Rex Steninger, Commissioner, Elko County, Nevada
Stan Summers, Commissioner, Box Elder County, Utah
Martin Thomas Jr., Vice Mayor of Norfolk, Virginia
Steven Tramell, Mayor of West Point, Georgia
Karen Weaver, Mayor of Flint, Michigan
Colin Wellenkamp, Executive Director, Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative
Paula White, Pastor, New Destiny Christian Church
Majority Leader Terry Wilbur, Oswego County Legislature, New York
Vince Williams, Mayor of Union City, Georgia
Frank Williams, Commissioner, Brunswick County, North Carolina