Rural Opportunity Zone

Phillips County has opted into the ROZ 2023 Program

The Kansas Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ) is a Kansas Department of Commerce program established in 2011. Through the ROZ Program, qualified individuals who move to a ROZ county are eligible to receive up to two financial incentives. One incentive is a waiver for an individual’s Kansas state income tax liability for up to five years (sunsets 2021), and the other incentive is student loan repayments up to $15,000 paid over 5 years. In the state of Kansas, there are 95 ROZ counties offering one or both of the financial incentives to new full-time residents of the area. Phillips County is the number 1 participating Kansas County in the ROZ Program, offering both financial incentive programs to local residents since 2012.

How is it funded?

The ROZ program is funded through a 50/50 match between the Kansas Department of Commerce and the participating ROZ County. Local funding for this opportunity in Phillips County has been made possible by a partnership between PCED, the Cole Charitable Foundation and the Morgan Charitable Foundation. With this partnership, Phillips County has been able to provide this valuable incentive program to recruit educated residents to live and work in our community. The generous support of this partnership allows Phillips County to continue to clear the wait-list of participants who qualified to take part in the program each year.

Who is eligible?

Student Loan Repayment Program

The ROZ Student Loan Repayment program is designed to help recruit college graduates back to the area; growing our workforce and developing our community. The Student Loan Repayment program provides financial assistance to help repay student loans to those students who left for an education and returned to Phillips County. Qualified participants can receive loan repayments up to $15,000 paid over 5 years.

To be eligible for Student Loan Repayments, individuals must:

  • Establish domicile* 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 prior to moving to the ROZ County

  • Have an outstanding student loan balance in applicant’s name

  • Ability to provide proof of: residency at current and previous addresses, transcript with degree date, and student loan balance with distribution dates

  • Have a Sponsor, Counties and Employers can sponsor applicants in this program. the Applicant must have a sponsor to receive funding

Applications for Student Loan Repayment are accepted from January 1st through September 30th.

Kansas Income Tax Waiver Program (sunsets 2023, updates will be posted)

The ROZ program also provides the Kansas Income Tax Waiver, which is an incentive to help recruit those who have left Kansas for five or more years to return to Phillips County. This incentive is a waiver for an individual’s Kansas state income tax liability for up to five years.

To be eligible for Kansas Income Tax Waivers, individuals must have:

  • Established domicile in a ROZ county on or after the date the county became part of the program (Please note that these dates vary by county.)

  • Lived outside Kansas for five or more years immediately prior to establishing domicile in a ROZ county

  • Earned less than $10,000 in Kansas Source Income in each of the five years immediately prior to establishing domicile in a ROZ county

  • To receive the income tax waiver you must file your state taxes on the Kansas Department of Revenue website

How do I find out more information or apply to participate?

For more information about the ROZ program: Visit Website
Or contact: Rachéll Rowand, ROZ Program Manager
                   Kansas Department of Commerce
                  (785) 296-3345 

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