January 26, 2018

Looking for More Information on the New Opportunity Zones Program? 

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Last month, a new community investment tax incentive program was created as part of tax reform. The Opportunity Zones program was enacted as part of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and provides private investors certain tax benefits on long-term investments made in rural and low-income urban communities throughout the nation.

Enterprise’s new policy brief, Opportunity Zones Program: An Early Overview of Program Details and What’s Ahead, provides details on the program and steps toward implementation. High-level details are covered in this blog post; here’s what lies ahead as the administration and governors work to launch the new program. 

Implementation

  • Governors will designate census tracts as Opportunity Zones by the end of March, if no extension is requested. These are the census tracts eligible to receive private investment over the next decade. 
  • Treasury will provide guidance on the process by which Opportunity Funds will be certified to aggregate and deploy private investment capital in Opportunity Zones. Its anticipated the process will be analogous to that of Community Development Entity (CDE) Certification, but it is unclear when this guidance will be available. 
  • The rulemaking process for the Opportunity Zones Program is anticipated to last the better part of 2018, with full implementation in Q4 2018 or Q1 2019. 

Understanding Opportunity Zone Designations 

With less than 90 days before Governors must submit Opportunity Zones recommendations, Enterprise is providing new resources and opportunities to learn about the designations and what states and advocates should consider. 

  • Mapping Opportunity Zones: This national map identifies which census tracts are eligible for Opportunity Zone designation – both as a low-income community and under the 5 percent exemption for contiguous census tracts. In the coming weeks, Enterprise will make available state maps that will incorporate data and insights from Opportunity360 to help inform strategic decision-making. 
  • Join our February 7 webinar at 2 p.m. EST for a 30-minute overview of the Opportunity Zones Program and demonstration of our mapping tools for Opportunity Zones designation. 

Enterprise will continue to cover the implementation of the Opportunity Zones Program over the coming year. Stay tuned! More information can be found from the Economic Innovation Group

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