Guest speaker to detail Lou & Josh “opportunity zones” plank

Because of the social distancing restrictions, there may be fewer traditional campaign rallies during this year's elections.

Guam – Private sector jobs, economic stimulus, and new tax revenue are frontline and center for the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Democratic gubernatorial team today as they prepare to share details for their Opportunity Zones platform plank.

Political candidates often talk about creating jobs without describing how they’re going to do it. But today that could change when Lou Leon Guerrero and Joshua Tenorio introduce a speaker who has experience working with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Opportunity Zones program and in the area of Historic Tax Credits.

During a 1:30 news conference this afternoon, the Democratic nominees will welcome CPA and Novogradac & Company LLP principal Brent Parker from Long Beach, California to explain the mechanics of “OZ” and “HTC” – and to help illustrate how Leon Guerrero-Tenorio plans to create economic stimulus to spur new investment, create private sector jobs, and generate new tax revenue for the Government of Guam. According to its website, “Novogradac is a national professional services organization that consists of affiliates and divisions providing professional services that include certified public accounting, valuation and consulting with more than 25 offices nationwide.”

The site also specifies, “We work extensively in the affordable housing, community development, historic preservation, opportunity zones and renewable energy fields.”

According to the Dept. of Treasury’s website, “the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created Opportunity Zones to spur investment in distressed communities throughout the country. New investments in Opportunity Zones can receive preferential tax treatment.

“Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, States, D.C., and U.S. possessions nominate low-income communities to be designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones, which are eligible for the tax benefit.”

Drawing on U.S. Census records, Treasury has listed more than two dozen tracts of Guam as Designated Qualified Opportunity Zones, and “Lou & Josh” have repeatedly underscored the significance of the OZ program on the campaign trail because of the promise of economic incentive and opportunity it holds for tying the island to the federal government’s mainline economic incentive programs while lifting people out of poverty.

Parker is here to shed practical light on this cornerstone of the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio campaign. “He has a tremendous amount of experience in programs involving  affordable housing and community development, nonprofit organizations and public housing authorities with a particular focus on investment in opportunity zones and historic tax credit industries,” a Leon Guerrero-Tenorio news release states.

“In addition to providing various consulting and forecasting services, he has worked extensively on financial statement audits and tax planning and tax return preparation. Mr. Parker is a contributor to the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits and leads professional development training efforts on various complex taxation concepts.”

At this afternoon’s press conference, “Mr. Parker will discuss the specifics of the opportunity zones incentive, including definitions of qualified opportunity funds, qualified opportunity zone property and qualified opportunity zone business property,” according the release.

The campaign welcomes conferees to “get a clearer understanding of how the incentive works to connect investors with qualified opportunity zone businesses.”