On April 9, the US Department of Treasury certified 17 census tracts in the Modesto area as Opportunity Zones (OZ). Nationally, there is $6.1 Trillion in capital gains that could be invested in Opportunity Zones, which could make this effort the largest community development program in the nation’s history. Any investment purpose that stimulates economic activity in these census tracts may participate in the program. There are four primary groups that may be particularly interested in this recent announcement:
- Investors that want to defer gain from a recent sale and obtain tax-free appreciation from its investment in an Opportunity Fund (O-Fund), which can reduce capital gains tax by up to 15%.
- Sponsors that want to form and operate an Opportunity Fund
- Property owners with assets located in Opportunity Zones
- Developers and business owners that desire to start-up or expand in an Opportunity Zones
The Department of Treasury is currently finalizing Opportunity Fund guidelines and rules. Interested parties can use this time to become informed about Opportunity Zones and network to develop Opportunity Zones concepts and opportunities for their communities. Many Opportunity Zones background references are available. The Council of Development Finance Agencies offers a comprehensive set of resources including link to a webinar that models investment returns in Opportunity Zones. Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. provides a policy overview and anticipates implementation timing.