Harvey County adopts rural opportunity zone resolution

Chad Frey
The Kansan
Harvey County

The Harvey County Commission voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting, and authorizing, a student loan repayment assistance program under the state of Kansas rural opportunity zone program. 

"I think this might be a good tool for our manufacturers and employers out there to try and recruit somebody. It might give them a leg up in getting some people," said commissioner Randy Hague. "I am not in favor of funding it, but I am in support of the resolution."

The county commission was not required to, nor did they, commit any funding to the program. 

The resolution allows employers and private funders to partner with the county and fund student loan repayment assistance — up to $15,000 — for people who move to the county. For those moving from out of state to Kansas, there is a possible income tax exemption. 

The county can opt in, or out, in any given year.

According to kansascommerce.gov, student loan eligibility requirements include: 

Applicants must have a newly established permanent address in a participating county, so long as that address was established after the county began participating in the program. 

Applicants must have an active student loan balance in their name, as well as an associate’s, bachelor’s or post-graduate degree prior to moving to the participating county.

To apply, applicants  will need to provide proof of domicile in the ROZ County, proof of previous permanent residency (prior to earning your degree), transcripts with degree dates and student loan balance with distribution dates.

When the program was created in 2011, 50 Kansas counties were on the list, it was later expanded to 77 counties — the expansion of SB47 ups that count to 95 of Kansas' 105 counties. 

This year 18 counties are being added.