We’ve had several posts about the “Rural Opportunity Zone” legislation that recently passed the 2011 Kansas Legislature — describing it, discussing the slow response to sign up, and questions about its effectiveness.
One more news article has come out questioning its effectiveness in bringing folks to rural areas of the state. The Topeka Capital-Journal says:
Community leaders across the state have mixed reactions to Gov. Sam Brownback’s Rural Opportunity Zone program, the centerpiece of his plan to provide incentives to move people into rural areas of the state that have seen significant population declines.
Many seem to be embracing the student loan forgiveness part of the program. However, others wonder if the portion of the program giving income tax breaks to out-of-state taxpayers who want to relocate their companies to rural Kansas will harm existing businesses.
The student loan foregiveness portion of the program is a county-state partnership, and counties must opt in to participate. According to the state’s ROZ website, as of July 28, 2011, the following counties have joined the student loan forgiveness program: Barber, Clark, Decatur, Graham, Greeley, Hamilton, Harper, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kingman, Lane, Mitchell, Morton, Ness, Norton, Pratt, Rooks, Russell, Scott, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, Wichita and Woodson.
Read the full Topeka Capital-Journal here.
Information from the state is here.