Opportunity Zones Tag Archives

Jared Bernstein op-ed: “give OZs a chance, while scrutinizing their progress”

In a Washington Post op-ed, Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to former Vice President Joe Biden and senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, describes the early developments, including the Zone certification process, market reactions and some proposed investment targets of Opportunity Zones. While Bernstein notes the gentrification risk of Opportunity Zones, he concludes that the selected Zones have both the need and capacity to absorb new investment, development and people without displacing local residents. He calls on Treasury to dictate strong reporting requirements that will accommodate thorough evaluation.

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Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Bill to Expand Opportunity Zones

On November 15, Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the “Hurricanes Florence and Michael and California Wildfire Tax Relief Act” (S. 3648). The bill, in addition to providing tax relief for victims of the natural disasters like an employment credit and tax-favored withdrawals from retirement plans, would designate all of the applicable disaster zones as an Opportunity Zones.

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NCSHA Publishes Opportunity Zone Fund Directory

The National Council of State Housing Agencies has published an online “Opportunity Zone Fund Directory,” which is a compilation of Opportunity Zone funding opportunities. This resource provides descriptions and contact information for publicly-announced funds that have been formed for the purpose of attracting investment in Opportunity Zones. NCSHA is tracking only multi-project opportunity funds.  NCSHA will update the directory regularly and invites funds to submit details for inclusion by completing the submission form. Please contact Jim Tassos with additions, questions, or comments.

CohnReznick Launches Opportunity Zone and NMTC Mapping Tool

CohnReznick has launched an updated interactive mapping tool designed to assist New Markets Tax Credit and Opportunity Zone Investment stakeholders.  This mapping tool helps access eligibility using census-based criteria from the 2011-2015 and 2006-2010 American Community Surveys.  Either census database may be used to evaluate eligibility through a transition period ending October 31, 2018*.  To identify the designated Opportunity Zones for potential investment or Opportunity Zone related projects, enter an address.  If an address falls within an Opportunity Zone, that designation will appear. Enter an address or US census tract number for your project to see if it is “Qualified” for the NMTC Program and if it meets “Severely Distressed” criteria. Any correlating Opportunity Zone designation also will appear if it meets that program’s criteria.

Additional Resource:

Opportunity Zone Webinar Recording:  Stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones were created to help spur investment in distressed communities. There is estimated to be $2 trillion worth of unrealized capital gains “sitting on the sidelines” with the potential to unleash this for investment across America in distressed, low-income communities. Once accumulated and deployed, this capital will help rejuvenate these micro-economies, stimulate growth and help level the playing field for those living and doing business in low-income communities. Not uncommon in the U.S., tax policy is playing a central role in helping to how we administer public policy around creating economic growth. CohnReznick’s Ira Weinstein and Beth Mullen discuss this innovate policy. Hear the program background, how it works, advantages, tax implications and other useful information in this conversational 25-minute recording.  Click Here to View.