CALL TO ACTION: Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones

The Opportunity Zones bills in the Wisconsin State Legislature need your help right now. The bills cannot move forward to be voted on in their committees until a public hearing has been held on each bill.

  • Senate Bill 440 is currently in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institutions.
  • Assembly Bill 532 is currently in the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.

The reason these bills are not moving forward yet and haven’t received public hearings is that legislators haven’t heard enough enthusiasm about them yet. That is where YOU come in.

A phone call or email from you to these offices can make a huge difference in getting public hearings for these bills. We ask that you make a phone call or send an email to the legislators below to let them know of your support for the bills and that you would like to see them get public hearings.

If you want more information about Opportunity Zones before you contact legislators, you can view more information on Opportunity Zones in our Oktoberfest in the Capitol issues paper.

Additionally, here are some talking points that you could use:

  • The opportunity zones program offers tax incentives to encourage investors to reinvest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Zones projects.
  • This is essentially an add-on to the Federal Opportunity Zones program, which allows individuals who invest in Opportunity Zones, through qualified Opportunity Funds, to receive tax incentives including tax deferral on the invested capital gains and tax-free growth on the Opportunity Fund investment earnings if the investment is held for at least 10 years. In addition, investors receive a 10% reduction in the original capital gains tax if the Opportunity Fund investment is held for at least five years and a 15% reduction after seven years.
  • The bill would double the Opportunity Zones tax reduction at the state level for investors who invest in Wisconsin Qualified Opportunity Funds, which are required to hold at least 90% of their assets in Wisconsin Opportunity Zone projects
  • Specifically, it will let investors receive a 20% state capital gains tax reduction if they hold an investment in a Wisconsin Qualified Opportunity Fund for at least five years, and a 30% reduction after seven years.
  • By leveraging the federal program and utilizing private investment (and not taxpayer dollars), the Wisconsin Opportunity Zones Development Act will encourage Wisconsin investors to keep their investment dollars in Wisconsin – accelerating economic growth and job creation in communities across the state.
  • This would be a major benefit for projects like residential development and business expansion in communities that have eligible areas of land, such as the city of La Crosse
  • There are 120 Opportunity Zones across 44 counties in Wisconsin 


Senate Commitee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institutions

Senator Marklein (Committee Chair)

Senator Petrowski (Vice Chair)

Senator Testin

Senator Jacque

Senator Bernier

Senator Smith

Senator Ringhand

Senator Risser

Senator Larson

Assembly Committee on Ways and Means

Representative Macco (Committee Chair)

Representative Wittke (Vice Chair)

Representative Kerkman

Representative Brooks

Representative Kulp

Representative Petersen

Representative Dittrich

Representative Ramthun

Representative Riemer

Representative Ohnstad

Representative Haywood

Representative McGuire