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Gov Signs Bill Creating "Military Facility Zones"

Communities and businesses stand to benefit from federal tax credit programs and bolster their military business thanks to a bill signed into law by the governor today.

House Bill 316, sponsored by Rep. Steve Thompson allows the state to create “Military Facility Zones” to enhance a base’s ability to fulfill its mission. The Zones would be areas around a community with set boundaries, encompassing a military installation.

“This will be a real shot in the arm to our communities and military,” Thompson, R-Fairbanks, said. “The enactment of these zones across the state will allow us to serve our military better and provide benefits to the outlying communities that support them. It’s a win-win for the military and for our economy. Thank you to the governor for signing it into law, and thanks again to my colleagues in the legislature for stepping up to the plate.”

Thompson said the Zones are modeled after those already successfully employed in Alabama, Arizona, Maryland, Texas and Virginia, and can offer a flexible tool to municipalities and businesses to stimulate the areas in close proximity to bases.

Funding for such zones in Alaska may be available from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) or from federal New Market Tax Credits. Federal, state, local, or private funding sources, credit, or guarantee programs can be made available directly to municipalities and boroughs that are working on specifically-approved projects within a Zone.

HB 316 takes effect July 1. The Alaska Department of Military & Veterans Affairs will now work to adopt regulations necessary to implement the bill.

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