Welcome to Opportunity Bessemer!
The Bessemer Opportunity Zone was nominated for designation by Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and was certified in 2018 by the U.S. Treasury. Bessemer’s Opportunity Zone includes all of Downtown Bessemer, including the entrance into the heart of the city from Interstate 20/59 and the nationally- certified Downtown Bessemer Historic District. Also in the zone are portions of the Jonesboro community and portions of the commercial district along U.S. Highway 11. Opportunity Zones were added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017.
The Opportunity Zones program was created to spur private investment in economically distressed communities by offering investors certain tax benefits if they invest in designated low-income census tracts through investment tools known as Opportunity Funds. Investors in Opportunity Funds can realize three tax benefits through deferral of capital gains Tax Payment, Reduction of Capital Gains Tax Payment or Forgiveness of Additional Gain. The Opportunity Zone designations will remain in effect until December 2028.
Investing in Bessemer’s Opportunity Zone has several benefits. Within a five mile radius of Bessemer’s Opportunity Zone are developments such as the new $325 million Amazon Robotics Fulfillment Center on Powder Plant Road. The fulfillment center will house some 1,500 employees at a starting wage of $15 an hour. Also in the area are Alabama Splash Adventure Theme Park, industrial parks, the Milo’s Tea Distribution Center, public and private Golf Courses and the Bessemer Municipal Airport. Downtown Bessemer also serves as the hub of activity in western Jefferson County.
In addition, investors have ability to tap into additional savings through historic tax credits and tax savings offered by the state of Alabama. Some of the projects currently proposed for the Opportunity Zone include a renovation of the Lincoln Theater by the Holland Project (owned by actor Andre Holland) and a proposed renovation of the former Bessemer City Hall into a 60-unit residential/commercial mixed development.