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Mississippi Opportunity Zone investment...

Mississippi Opportunity Zone investment to be featured in the State of the Union Address

By: Sarah Ulmer - February 5, 2019

After all the political posturing in DC, it’s finally happening.  The State of the Union Address will be delivered tonight at 8:00 p.m. by President Donald J. Trump.  And a Mississippi business is slated to be featured in the speech.

Roy James, Plant Manager of the Vicksburg Forest Products lumber facility, will be a special guest of President Trump & First Lady Melania Trump. A great honor for Mr. James and Mississippi.

Vicksburg Forest Products lumber facility is family owned and operated in Vicksburg. It was repurposed during the summer of 2018 for high-quality Southern Yellow Pine lumber manufacturing.

The facility was one of the first projects in the country to take advantage of an innovative program called Opportunity Zones.  Championed by Senator Tim Scott (R – South Carolina) in the 2017 Tax Bill, Opportunity Zones allow investors to reinvest capital gains and defer capital gains taxes by up to 10 years in specially designated low income census tracts that are typically capital deprived.

The CDFI Fund at the US Department of Treasury is the designated agency that oversees census tract eligibility.  Each state was allowed to designate its own subset of Opportunity Zones.  Mississippi’s program was approved by Governor Phil Bryant.

The genesis of the inclusion of Vicksburg Forest Products in President Trump’s speech came from a visit from HUD Secretary Ben Carson in December.  He and Governor Bryant toured the facility.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state.