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Opportunity Zones Resource Center

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Overview


Created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones are a federal economic development tool aiming to improve the outcomes of distressed communities around the country. Opportunity Zones are low-income census tracts that offer tax incentives to groups who invest and hold their capital gains in Zone assets or property. By investing in Opportunity Zones, investors stand to gain a temporary deferral on their capital gains taxes if they hold their investments for at least 5 years, and a permanent exclusion from a tax on capital gains from the Opportunity Zones investments if the investments are held for 10 years.


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-Understanding Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones, created as a result of the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, are low-income census tracts eligible to use tax incentives to encourage long-term investments in Zone assets and property. Opportunity Zones are designated as such by the governor or chief executive of a given state, district, or territory. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories are eligible to designate Opportunity Zones.

Read more about Opportunity Zones

Bloomberg Tax Opportunity Zone Fact Sheet
Bloomberg Tax Management Real Estate Journal offers an in-depth look at the tax implications of Opportunity Zones.
Navigating the Opportunity Zones: A Playbook for Community Development
CDFA and LISC collaborated on this report, which is designed to offer community organizations an overview of the possible trajectories and best practices to consider when designing community-based Opportunity Zones strategies.
An Early Assessment of Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development Projects
Despite being viewed primarily as an economic development tool in low-income communities—that is, positioning the local economy on a higher growth trajectory—many proponents have suggested that OZs also have a community development purpose of...
Tax Incentives for Opportunity Zones: In BriefMembers only
This CRS report briefly describes what census tracts have been designated as an OZ, what types of entities can are eligible as QOFs, the tax benefits of investments in QOFs, and what economic effects can be expected from OZ tax incentives.

-Resources

View all Opportunity Zones Resources

-Official Treasury Designations

-Rules and Regulations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury continues to work through the process of codifying the regulatory framework for the Opportunity Zones incentive. CDFA will continue to update this page as additional tranches of guidance and proposed regulations are released.

Second Tranche of Proposed Regulations

The second tranche of proposed regulations, released on April 17, 2019, offer answers and clarity to a number of questions that arose following the release of the first tranche of Opportunity Zones guidance. The second tranche of IRS guidance primarily addresses the tax treatment and issues related to:
  • Operating businesses in Opportunity Zones;
  • Land and land leases;
  • The definition of original use and building vacancy;
  • Opportunity Fund assets and investments.
View the Second Tranche of Proposed Regulations
View Second Tranche Highlights from EIG
View Second Tranche Highlights from Opportunity Alabama
View Second Tranche Highlights from KPMG
View Second Tranche Highlights from Novogradac (Part 1)
View Second Tranche Highlights from Novogradac (Part 2)
View Second Tranche Highlights from Ballard Spahr

First Tranche of Proposed Regulations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released regulatory guidance on Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds. These regulatory proposals help to clarify how investors will engage in Opportunity Zones and provide more framework for communities to understand the types of businesses and real estate projects that are eligible for investment.

The regulatory proposals address several key areas, including:
  • The requirements that must be met by a taxpayer to defer gains by investing in an Opportunity Fund;
  • The rules permitting a corporation or partnership to self certify;
  • The rules regarding the requirements that must be met by a corporation or partnership to qualify as an Opportunity Fund.
Additionally, the IRS has released a revenue ruling addressing:
  • The application to real property of the "original use" requirement in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i)(II), and;
  • The "substantial improvement" requirement in section 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(i)(II) and 1400Z-2(d)(2)(D)(ii).
View the First Tranche Proposed Regulations
View the Revenue Ruling

-Opportunity Funds Resources

The Impact of Opportunity Zones: An Initial AssessmentMembers only Login
This report from the White House' Council of Economic Advisers compares the advantages of OZs with those of other Federal antipoverty programs and documents the characteristics of the nearly 8,800 low-income communities designated as OZs. It also quantifies the effect of OZs investment and finds that a large increase is already benefiting OZ residents while potentially having only a small effect on the Federal budget.
Opportunity Zones Best Practices Report to the President from The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Members only Login
This is the third report issued by the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council as required under Executive Order 13853, and outlines best practices that could be integrated into public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities, including Opportunity Zones, in order to increase economic growth, encourage new business formation, and revitalize communities.
Opportunity Zone Development Profile - The TappanMembers only Login
Cleveland-based Sustainable Community Associates (SCA) have broken ground on their fourth development in the city—The Tappan—which will bring 95 new apartments and a bakery to the Tremont neighborhood.
Final Opportunity Zones Regulations
This document contains final regulations governing the extent to which taxpayers may elect the Federal income tax benefits provided by section 1400Z-2 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) with respect to certain equity interests in a qualified opportunity fund (QOF).
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Community Reinvestment Act
On December 13, 2019, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced a proposal to modernize the agencies’ regulations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) that have not been substantively updated for nearly 25 years. These proposed regulations will have a 60-day public comment period.
View more Oppportunity Funds Resources

-Opportunity Zones Resources

CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative: Development Finance Strategies for Charter Schools
CDFA's first publication of the CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative series, funded with support from the National Alliance For Public Charter Schools. This paper demonstrates how charter schools can access development finance tools and public finance and provides real-world examples of how these tools have been successfully implemented.
Advancing Education and Child Development in Opportunity Zones
Recovering from the pandemic and addressing the intergenerational inequities that have stunted personal and national prosperity will require an all-hands-on-deck effort. This guide is intended for government officials, community members, education leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, funders, and others who are eager to create pathways of prosperity for children growing up in OZs, and their families.
The Impact of Opportunity Zones: An Initial AssessmentMembers only Login
This report from the White House' Council of Economic Advisers compares the advantages of OZs with those of other Federal antipoverty programs and documents the characteristics of the nearly 8,800 low-income communities designated as OZs. It also quantifies the effect of OZs investment and finds that a large increase is already benefiting OZ residents while potentially having only a small effect on the Federal budget.
Opportunity Zones: A Place-Based Incentive for Investment in Low-Income Communities
Section 1400Z,2 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created a new place-based tax incentive intended to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities designated as “Opportunity Zones.” Although Opportunity Zones (OZs) are the latest place-based tax incentive, they also represent a sweeping expansion of the approach— both in terms of the potential tax benefits being provided and the huge scale of the geography now covered for reduced income taxes for investors.
How Opportunity Zones Can Help Accelerate Post-COVID Economic Resurgence: A Milken Institute Working PaperMembers only Login
In a post-COVID world, it will be imperative to invest in our underserved communities’ capacity to serve themselves, and in their resilience. Opportunity Zones are one tool to drive this effort. The Milken Institute has developed this state and local official training guide to help community leaders engage more effectively with the private sector and philanthropic partners to create new, lasting models for building local prosperity and community wealth.
View more Oppportunity Zones Resources

-Case Studies

CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative: Development Finance Strategies for Charter Schools
CDFA's first publication of the CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative series, funded with support from the National Alliance For Public Charter Schools. This paper demonstrates how charter schools can access development finance tools and public finance and provides real-world examples of how these tools have been successfully implemented.
The Impact of Opportunity Zones: An Initial AssessmentMembers only Login
This report from the White House' Council of Economic Advisers compares the advantages of OZs with those of other Federal antipoverty programs and documents the characteristics of the nearly 8,800 low-income communities designated as OZs. It also quantifies the effect of OZs investment and finds that a large increase is already benefiting OZ residents while potentially having only a small effect on the Federal budget.
How Opportunity Zones Can Help Accelerate Post-COVID Economic Resurgence: A Milken Institute Working PaperMembers only Login
In a post-COVID world, it will be imperative to invest in our underserved communities’ capacity to serve themselves, and in their resilience. Opportunity Zones are one tool to drive this effort. The Milken Institute has developed this state and local official training guide to help community leaders engage more effectively with the private sector and philanthropic partners to create new, lasting models for building local prosperity and community wealth.
An Early Assessment of Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development ProjectsMembers only Login
Despite being viewed primarily as an economic development tool in low-income communities—that is, positioning the local economy on a higher growth trajectory—many proponents have suggested that OZs also have a community development purpose of helping people in poverty to improve their local context and lead healthy, productive lives.
Financing Affordable Housing and Small Businesses through Opportunity Zones - Lessons from Cuyahoga County, Ohio Members only Login
The Opportunity Zones tax incentive, created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, was designed to spur investment in low-income and undercapitalized communities. The experiences of investors, developers, government officials, and business representatives show how the incentive is playing out nationally and locally in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
View more Case Studies

-Mapping Tools

Interactive Mapping Tools for Opportunity Zones

Interactive online maps can be used to find Opportunity Zone census tracts across the U.S. Below are links to several mapping tools:

CIMS - Department of the Treasury CDFI Fund
Opportunity Zones and NMTC Interactive Map - CohnReznick
Opportunity Zones Explorer by Opportunity360 - Enterprise Community Partners

-Headlines

-Publications

Navigating the Opportunity Zones: A Playbook for Community Development
CDFA and LISC collaborated on this report, which is designed to offer community organizations an overview of the possible trajectories and best practices to consider when designing community-based Opportunity Zones strategies.
View more Publications

-Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative: Development Finance Strategies for Charter Schools
CDFA's first publication of the CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative series, funded with support from the National Alliance For Public Charter Schools. This paper demonstrates how charter schools can access development finance tools and public finance and provides real-world examples of how these tools have been successfully implemented.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Financing Food Systems Entrepreneurs
During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, development finance professionals from around the country will describe their strategies for supporting local entrepreneurs in moving their business from idea to execution.
Advancing Education and Child Development in Opportunity Zones
Recovering from the pandemic and addressing the intergenerational inequities that have stunted personal and national prosperity will require an all-hands-on-deck effort. This guide is intended for government officials, community members, education leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, funders, and others who are eager to create pathways of prosperity for children growing up in OZs, and their families.
The Impact of Opportunity Zones: An Initial AssessmentMembers only Login
This report from the White House' Council of Economic Advisers compares the advantages of OZs with those of other Federal antipoverty programs and documents the characteristics of the nearly 8,800 low-income communities designated as OZs. It also quantifies the effect of OZs investment and finds that a large increase is already benefiting OZ residents while potentially having only a small effect on the Federal budget.
Opportunity Zones: A Place-Based Incentive for Investment in Low-Income Communities
Section 1400Z,2 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created a new place-based tax incentive intended to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities designated as “Opportunity Zones.” Although Opportunity Zones (OZs) are the latest place-based tax incentive, they also represent a sweeping expansion of the approach— both in terms of the potential tax benefits being provided and the huge scale of the geography now covered for reduced income taxes for investors.
View More Webcasts

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