Opportunity Zones

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created Opportunity Zones, a new community investment tool designed to drive long-term capital to rural and low-income urban communities throughout the nation. Our Opportunity Zones Policy Brief has more information. Treasury has approved Opportunity Zones in all but four states (April 9, April 18May 21), and we have updated the Opportunity360 state mapping tool to show newly-designated Opportunity Zones. We will provide more updates when every state has been approved.


Enterprise hosted a 2-part Opportunity Zones webinar on May 30:
The session recording and PowerPoint presentation are now available.

Part 1 - State and Local Policies to Prevent Displacement
A discussion of anti-displacement policies that help ensure existing residents and businesses can benefit from, and participate in, the growth and economic development that occurs in a community, particularly for communities at risk of gentrification.

Part 2 - State and Local Policies to Attract Investment 
A look at policies that can be pursued at the state and local level to attract investments to specific communities or projects through the creative use of incentives. 

First Key Date

Governors have until March 21, 2018 to submit their recommendations for Zone designations to Treasury, unless the state requests a 30-day extension (April 20). By failing to submit Zone nominations, Governors effectively opt out, rendering the state ineligible to receive private investment encouraged through Opportunity Zones tax benefits on over the next decade.

Choosing Opportunity Zones

Enterprise has created a tool to help states and others determine which tracts or regions are eligible for Opportunity Zones, and how those eligible tracts relate to other federal programs and designations. Here’s what we have heard from states regarding Zone selection, and well as our recommendations for that process.

Need More Information? Start Here

Mapping Opportunity Zones 

opp-zone-eligibility-map.jpgStates and others have used the Opportunity360 mapping tool to evaluate eligible census tracts and aid in Zone nominations. Users can easily:

  • Adjust multiple filter controls to see how many eligible tracts in your state meet the criteria you have selected, and compare this to the official number of tracts that can be designated according to Treasury.
  • Mouse over a tract to view additional information about eligibility and to access a free Opportunity360 Measurement Report which provides key details about the social determinants and conditions in that tract.

Read more about the methods used to produce these eligibility designations. Download the eligibility data underlying this tool. The tool and data will be updated to reflect any further data or guidance from the CDFI Fund and IRS.

Webinar (Recording) - An Early Overview of Program Details and What’s Ahead

  • This webinar recording includes an overview of the program, implementation details, as well as what states and advocates should be considering in the coming months as Opportunity Zones are designated. The new census tract designation mapping tool is also highlighted in this recording. (slides only)

View the presentation slides and recording for the Analyzing Opportunity Zone Nominations and What States Should Do Next webinar.

Webinar: Nominating Opportunity Zones

In our second webinar, we demonstrate the Opportunity360 state mapping tool, review responsibilities of governors in the Zone nomination process, and discuss how some states are engaging local elected officials and other stakeholders. (slides only)

Breaking Down the Tax Benefits of Investing in Opportunity Zones

Created as part of tax reform, Opportunity Zones offers incentives to private investors taking equity stake in communities at the nexus of need and opportunity. Tiered tax benefits are tied to investments at five, seven, and ten-year terms. Benefits include a temporary deferral and small reduction of tax liability, as well as - in some circumstances - a full exemption on earnings. 

Opportunity Zones 101 and Guidance on Implementation

Our policy brief has been used as a go-to resource for high-level information on Opportunity Zones, and our recent comments to Treasury provide guidance on how the tax incentive could be implemented to maximize the value of capital flowing to distressed communities over the next decade.

Stay Up-To-Date

Read Opportunity Zones blog posts for in depth coverage, explanations, and new resources as they are made available, and sign up to receive Community Developments and Capitol Express e-mails for updates.

Additional Resources

U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund - Opportunity Zones Resources. The federal government’s hub for information featuring the IRS Revenue Procedure and sortable lists by state designations of all eligible census tracts.

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