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Brownback Unveils New Initiative To Help Struggling Urban Zones

Gov. Sam Brownback has unveiled a new program intended to bring new economic development to financially struggling metropolitan areas in Kansas.

Brownback said Thursday his Urban Opportunity Zone initiative will offer tax breaks and other financial incentives to people who start small businesses or other economic activities. The program is similar to the governor's Rural Opportunity Zone program.

The Kansas Department of Commerce, working with the Department of Revenue, will run the program. The pilot program will include the Kansas City ZIP codes 66101, 66102, 66104, 66106 and high-poverty areas in Wichita and Topeka.

Brownback's Democratic challenger in the governor's race, Paul Davis, said the governor's programs and policies have harmed urban and rural areas of Kansas and the state cannot afford four more years of his "experimenting."

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