Rural Opportunity Zones

Rural Opportunity Zones are Kansas counties offering incentives for individuals to relocate, including tax breaks and student loan forgiveness. Interested in the ROZ website scholarship? Click here. 

The program was created by the Kansas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback in the summer of 2011. The incentives took effect beginning January 1, 2012 and are still going strong in the first quarter of 2014, attracting hundreds of applicants from across the nation.

We here at Love Small Town America have been enthusiastic supporters of this measure since its inception and we continue to partner with the ROZ to help participating Kansas counties share what they have to offer with the world. Soon, we hope to have many ROZ counties online here at LSTA, so you can compare side by side what small town schools, job opportunities, real estate listings, community events, and more each county has to offer and make an informed choice about which county would make the best new home.

Rural Opportunity Zone Counties on Love Small Town America

Rural Opportunity Zone Website Scholarship

From now until July 15, 2014 communities (towns and/or counties) that are participating in the ROZ program and have a population of 5,000 or fewer can apply for a free LSTA website. Learn more.

Size Qualification
ROZ counties with a total population of less than 5,000, or communities within an ROZ county with a population of less than 5,000 (regardless of county size) can apply for a website scholarship.

Can my city and county apply for an ROZ website scholarship? YES. Last year, for example, Hoxie and Sheridan County were both awarded ROZ website scholarships.

Rural Opportunity Zones Information
The Kansas Department of Commerce offers additional information about the Rural Opportunity Zones, including a clickable map. They also state the following about the ROZ:

There’s something special about life in rural Kansas. Something authentic and wholesome. Something that makes it the ideal place to live, work and raise a family. And thanks to the new Rural Opportunity Zones program, there’s never been a better time than now to make rural Kansas your new home.

Rural Opportunity Zones are 73 counties that have been authorized to offer one or both of the following financial incentives to new full-time residents:

  • Kansas income tax waivers for up to five years
  • Student loan repayments up to $15,000

To find out if you are eligible for the incentives or to explore the ROZ further, visit the Kansas Department of Commerce website now.

Rural Opportunity Zones – On the Blog
Read up on the Rural Opportunity Zones program through our blog:

Rural Opportunity Zones Website Scholarship
If you are a member of a ROZ, you may have found your way to our website through the ROZ website scholarship application. Welcome to Love Small Town America. As you can see, we believe in growing a bright future for small town America and we’re passionate about sharing the advantages of rural life with the world. It’s important to have a professional, comprehensive web presence to communicate your assets to your online audience; especially since you’re recruiting new residents! We’re happy to answer any of your questions about Love Small Town America as you prepare your scholarship application. Click here to learn more about the website scholarship and joining LSTA.

The scholarship covers:

  • A 1-year contract for creation and maintenance of a custom website on Love Small Town America for the applying community or county at our annual update package level (a $225 value).
  • If you would like additional updates or to add additional pages, we’re happy to provide a custom package for you. Any charges beyond $225 will not be covered by the scholarship.

Questions? E-mail us at

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4 thoughts on “Rural Opportunity Zones

  1. I am a 63 year old retired PH.D in history, who has taught in public schools and colleges for 39 years. I should very much like to move to rural Kansas and hope you can offer me some suggestions! I am not ready to retire, but plan to continue teaching as long as I am able. Can you offer me any information??? Thanks so much.

    Randy Grant, Ph.D.

  2. I live in the humble, yet tiny, area of Buena Vista Colorado in the 81211 zip code. Recently, there has been a reasonably large condemning of approximately 25 lower income homes/residents in our small community and our local powers at be cannot seem to find a reasonable plan and or assistance for those families whom have been rendered homeless on account of poor communal attention as well as poor property maintenance and preservation. Services that would seem to be provided for this lower income community have not been properly assessed and families are being forced to move their entire life, house included, to a new property when the cost of living was already too much to endure at a price that is almost impossible for pay bracket provided in this town. I am only a concerned young male citizen and life long resident of the small humble town of Buena Vista Colorado 81211 but i can see an urgent need for some sort of bigger entities, such as, community funding and or federal funding for these families/residents that are being evicted from their affordable livelihoods into a seasonal rafter and almost impossible to afford community. My name is Jacob Wood and if ANYONE who has any clout, credibility, or legitimate means to help my community i am accepting any help contact me by phone 1(719)(216)(2315) day or night phone or email at: i thank you

  3. Dear Randy,
    Come to Clay County. From it you have access to apply to teach in Concordia’s Cloud County Community College, or KSU’s Manhattan or Salina campuses. We have an annual history festival put on by the Clay County Historical Society. Also there are books on the local history which have been and are still being written by local residents. If you locate in one of the smaller towns, such as in or around Morganville, Longford, or Green, you will enjoy “rural” with a “R.” Clay Center and Wakefield are larger and are where all the government offices/schools are located. However in Green we have a unique Christian school, where you could volunteer to teach secondary school history (and it might lead to other employment opportunity during retirement). Read “Uphill Into the Sun” if you can get a copy, to see what the pioneers endured settling this area. I live on a farm in Bloom Township and have a DMA in Cello Performance. I love mixing the rural life with my community orchestra (see the website). You can try out all kinds of unique and creative activities here, where there is clean air, lots of common sense, and quiet to think and to create. Although we are classified economically-depressed by the U.S. Census, we have a great, free lifestyle!

  4. Pingback: Buy or Sell a Business in Rural Kansas | Love Small Town America Blog

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