Little Rock, Ark. (February 22, 2019) – Two members of the United States Congress visited Philander Smith College (PSC) today to discuss the vision for federal tax breaks in distressed areas, now known as “Opportunity Zones.”
U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR) and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) visited with PSC President Roderick L. Smothers, Sr. and a student representative of the College’s newly re-instated Community Development Corporation, junior Russell Williams III. On a rainy afternoon, the group pored over a map detailing where the College’s properties sit which are designated as an “Opportunity Zone” and discussed potential strategies to attract investors and businesses to benefit not only them but also the community adjacent to the institution.
Sen. Scott, who was raised in a single-parent household in North Charleston, South Carolina, that he says was “mired in poverty,” has been traveling across the country to bring attention to his anti-poverty initiative.
As the author of the Opportunity Zone portion of the 2017 tax reform bill, Scott’s vision is to drive jobs and economic growth which would breathe life into struggling, low-income areas.
Economic revitalization is a key component of Philander Smith College’s social justice-driven mission and its ‘Forward Initiatives’ created to ensure the vitality of the institution and the community in which it is located.