Chapman bill to assist rural economies passes unanimously

A bill from Representative Mike Chapman to create a rural development and opportunity zone is moving forward.

On Thursday, the 24th District Legislator saw HB 1324 pass unanimously out of the House.

In the bill, it incentivizes private investments and job creation in rural and distressed communities.

In the bill it states,

“The legislature finds that Washington has one of the strongest economies in the country. However, the local economies in some rural counties continue to struggle. The legislature further finds that the economic prosperity of our state must be shared by all of our communities.”

Chapman explains

The opportunity zone would work to induce investment into rural areas for companies that creates or retains rural jobs and would create a positive investment into the community. Companies can claim tax credits if they choose to operate within these rural areas.

The bill also places penalties if the funds are not used correctly and updates state law on a number of business groups including timber and some agriculture industries.

The bill now moves to the Senate.