Lincoln County is one of 95 counties in Kansas participating in the state’s Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) program. The program provides financial incentives to recruit new full-time residents into rural counties.
There are two types of ROZ programs with a brief description of each listed below. An individual who qualifies for both incentives can receive both incentives at the same time. For more detailed information, visit the Kansas Department of Commerce’s ROZ website.
Kansas Income Tax Waivers
The waivers equal a tax credit that is 100% of the individual’s Kansas income tax liability. Waivers are for up to five years. There is no application for this program, waivers are claimed through an individual’s annual tax filings. To qualify, individuals must meet the following criteria:
- Establish residency in a ROZ county on or after July 1, 2011,
- Lived outside Kansas for five or more years immediately prior to establishing residency in a ROZ county, and
- Earned less than $10,000 in Kansas source income in each of the five years immediately prior to establishing residency in a ROZ county. Kansas Income Tax Waivers are for up to five years.
- E-file taxes through the State of Kansas’s online filing system at https://www.kansas.gov/webfile/. (ROZ tax waivers are currently not available through other e-filing services.)
More information is available here: https://www.ksrevenue.org/prtaxcredits-roz.html
Student Loan Repayments
Graduates may receive up to $3000/year for 5 years (up to $15,000 total) to help pay down student loan debt. The KDOC provides $1500/year and the remaining $1500/year must be matched by a local sponsor. In order to qualify, individuals must meet the following criteria:
- Establish residency in a ROZ county after July 1, 2011, and on or after the date on which the county opts-in to the student loan program,
- Hold an associate’s, bachelor’s or post-graduate degree, and
- Have an outstanding student loan balance.
There are two kinds of local sponsors:
- County-funded sponsorship – A general, but limited, pool of funds are available. Currently there is a waitlist for these funds in Lincoln County. Applications for these funds is through the KDOC’s website: http://www.kansascommerce.gov/320/Rural-Opportunity-Zones
- Business/employer sponsorship – A business sponsors their employee(s). Should a business be interested in sponsoring an employee, the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation offers a matching grant to the business to help support the sponsorship. An application for this matching grant program is available here:
Have questions, contact the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation at 785-524-8954 or email LcedfDirector@Outlook.com.