Proposed Economic Opportunity Zones approved in La Crosse, Hillsboro, Richland Center

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Federal officials have approved Gov. Scott Walker's request to establish new economic opportunity zones in 44 Wisconsin counties.

Walker's office announced Monday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has signed off on the request.

The governor asked to created 120 economic opportunity zones, a designation under the new federal tax law designed to spur development. The program creates a tax incentive for businesses and individuals that invest in the zones.

“With our newly designated Economic Opportunity Zones, Wisconsin’s thriving businesses will have a new opportunity to invest in their neighbors and help our local communities,” said Governor Walker, in a statement released Monday. “Right now, more people are employed in our state than ever before in our history, and Wisconsin is at near record lows for unemployment. These recommendations reach communities across our state – urban, rural, and tribal – that are positioned for strong and sustained growth.”

The city of Milwaukee will have the most zones at 34. The Madison area will be second with 10. La Crosse will have two zones. There are also Economic Opportunity Zones in Richland Center, Prairie du Chien, Eau Claire, Platteville, and Hillsboro.

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