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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

Superfund Redevelopment Using Opportunity Zone Tax IncentivesMembers only Login
Opportunity Zones are a powerful way to encourage revitalization in economically distressed communities. Redevelopment of current or former Superfund sites may qualify for Opportunity Zone tax benefits. View this EPA fact sheet for more information.
Five Strategies for Engaging Opportunity Zone Investors
This quick guide, authored by CDFA and Skeo, outlines five key strategies for engaging Opportunity Zones investors including resources and tips that can help communities attract investment to their revitalization efforts.
Leveraging Development Finance Tools to Attract Opportunity Zone Investment
This guide, authored by CDFA and Skeo, provides an overview of various development finance tools and suggestions for how communities could use these tools to finance projects in Opportunity Zones. Each section includes additional resources to learn more, along with case studies to illustrate how development finance tools have been used to support revitalization goals in several Opportunity Zones.
How to Create an Investor Ready Project - The Opportunity Exchange
The first piece in the Opportunity Exchange’s Community Development Playbook deals with a big roadblock projects face - getting funded. When it comes to getting investors interested, the secret to success is a great project pitch. This piece breaks down the six essential elements of every great project profile, the best practices for each, and offers real examples from public projects on The Opportunity Exchange.
Tax Incentives for Opportunity Zones - Congressional Research Service
This Congressional Research Service report discusses (1) which census tracts have been designated as an OZ, (2) what types of entities are eligible as QOFs, (3) the tax benefits of investments in QOFs, (4) a summary of IRS/Treasury regulations implementing OZs, (5) what economic effects can be expected from OZ tax incentives, and (6) what policy issues Congress has raised with respect to OZs.

-Resources

View all Opportunity Zones Resources

-Official Treasury Designations

-Rules and Regulations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has completed the process of codifying the regulatory framework for the Opportunity Zones incentive. This section is dedicated to analysis of the final Opportunity Zones regulations.

View the Final Regulations

Opportunity Zones: Census Tract Designations, Investment Activities, and IRS Challenges Ensuring Taxpayer ComplianceMembers only Login
This GAO report describes the process for designating census tracts as Opportunity Zones and compares characteristics of designated and non-designated tracts; describes Qualified Opportunity Funds' experiences with and states' views on the tax incentive; analyzes available IRS data; and evaluates IRS's taxpayer compliance plans, among other objectives.
Superfund Redevelopment Using Opportunity Zone Tax IncentivesMembers only Login
Opportunity Zones are a powerful way to encourage revitalization in economically distressed communities. Redevelopment of current or former Superfund sites may qualify for Opportunity Zone tax benefits. View this EPA fact sheet for more information.
Superfund Redevelopment Program Webinar Series - Opportunity Zones and Superfund SitesMembers only Login
There are over 300 Superfund National Priorities List sites and thousands of Superfund removal sites located in or partially in Opportunity Zones. This webinar discussed Opportunity Zone tax benefits in the context of redeveloping Superfund sites and other types of contaminated properties and how communities, local governments, and developers can utilize these benefits.
Tax Incentives for Opportunity Zones - Congressional Research Service
This Congressional Research Service report discusses (1) which census tracts have been designated as an OZ, (2) what types of entities are eligible as QOFs, (3) the tax benefits of investments in QOFs, (4) a summary of IRS/Treasury regulations implementing OZs, (5) what economic effects can be expected from OZ tax incentives, and (6) what policy issues Congress has raised with respect to OZs.
Opportunity Zone Rule Changes Due to COVID-19 - Frost Brown Todd
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS recently issued IRS Notice 2020-39, which provides certain relief related to the calculation of time-sensitive deadlines under the federal Opportunity Zone program outlined in Internal Revenue Code Section 1400Z-2 and the underlying Treasury Regulations. This post from Frost Brown Todd analyzes these regulatory changes.

-Opportunity Funds Resources

Opportunity Zones: Census Tract Designations, Investment Activities, and IRS Challenges Ensuring Taxpayer ComplianceMembers only Login
This GAO report describes the process for designating census tracts as Opportunity Zones and compares characteristics of designated and non-designated tracts; describes Qualified Opportunity Funds' experiences with and states' views on the tax incentive; analyzes available IRS data; and evaluates IRS's taxpayer compliance plans, among other objectives.
Opportunity Zones: State of the Marketplace 2021Members only Login
This 2021 EIG report explores whether the Opportunity Zones policy and regulations are working as intended, what its early effects have been, and details the improvements needed to ensure the policy fulfills its promise. While the early findings from the field provide cause for optimism, there is room for policy improvements and continued opportunities to educate investors, local leaders, and other stakeholders.
How States Can Direct Economic Development to Places and People in NeedMembers only Login
To address local disparities and help struggling areas thrive, governments at all levels have spent billions of dollars on a range of geographically targeted, or "place-based," economic development programs — mostly in the form of financial incentives — designed to boost job creation and business investment, incentivize real estate development, or increase property values in specific places. The Pew Charitable Trusts performed a literature review of more than 100 studies to better understand the reasons for the lack of effectiveness of place-based programs.
Five Strategies for Engaging Opportunity Zone Investors
This quick guide, authored by CDFA and Skeo, outlines five key strategies for engaging Opportunity Zones investors including resources and tips that can help communities attract investment to their revitalization efforts.
Leveraging Development Finance Tools to Attract Opportunity Zone Investment
This guide, authored by CDFA and Skeo, provides an overview of various development finance tools and suggestions for how communities could use these tools to finance projects in Opportunity Zones. Each section includes additional resources to learn more, along with case studies to illustrate how development finance tools have been used to support revitalization goals in several Opportunity Zones.
View more Oppportunity Funds Resources

-Opportunity Zones Resources

The Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act Section-by-Section SummaryMembers only Login
This resource offers a section-by-section summary of the bipartisan, bicameral bill to reform opportunity zones introduced by Senators Booker, Scott, and Kelly. This legislation would reinstating and expanding the reporting requirements, ending Opportunity Zones that are not impoverished, create pathways for smaller-dollar impact investments, and more.
The Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act One PagerMembers only Login
Senators Booker and Scott and Representatives Kind and Kelly, along with Senators Warner, Young, and Van Hollen, and Representatives Sewell, Walorski, and Kildee, propose a series of improvements to the Opportunity Zones policy to further their shared vision for the program to catalyze funding to these communities and level the economic playing field for their residents.
The Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement ActMembers only Login
U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) and U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill reforming Opportunity Zones, the tax incentive for individuals who reinvest unrealized capital gains into high-impact projects in underserved communities.
Opportunity Zones: Census Tract Designations, Investment Activities, and IRS Challenges Ensuring Taxpayer ComplianceMembers only Login
This GAO report describes the process for designating census tracts as Opportunity Zones and compares characteristics of designated and non-designated tracts; describes Qualified Opportunity Funds' experiences with and states' views on the tax incentive; analyzes available IRS data; and evaluates IRS's taxpayer compliance plans, among other objectives.
CDFA-TEDC Webinar: Driving Investment into Texas' Rural Opportunity Zones
During this webinar, expert panelists provided best practices and tips for economic development practitioners on driving investments into rural Opportunity Zones in Texas.
View more Oppportunity Zones Resources

-Case Studies

Neighborhood-Level Investment from the Opportunity Zone Program: Early EvidenceMembers only Login
A new report from economists at the University of California Berkeley provides the first real evidence of OZ investment captured in 2019. Approximately $18.9 billion of aggregate OZ investments occurred that year representing nearly 2,500 investments. The authors estimate that 1,362 zones (roughly 16%) received investment and every state saw some form of investment.
OZ Prospectus - City of Yucaipa, CaliforniaMembers only Login
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the City of Yucaipa, California. It was produced through collaboration between the City, San Bernardino County, and Local Equity LLC.
OZ Prospectus - City of Victorville, CaliforniaMembers only Login
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the City of Victorville, California. It was produced through collaboration between the City, San Bernardino County, and Local Equity LLC.
OZ Prospectus - City of Upland, CaliforniaMembers only Login
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the City of Upland, California. It was produced through collaboration between the City, San Bernardino County, and Local Equity LLC.
OZ Prospectus - City of San Bernardino, CaliforniaMembers only Login
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the City of San Bernardino, California. It was produced through collaboration between the City, San Bernardino County, and Local Equity LLC.
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

Five Strategies for Engaging Opportunity Zone Investors
This quick guide, authored by CDFA and Skeo, outlines five key strategies for engaging Opportunity Zones investors including resources and tips that can help communities attract investment to their revitalization efforts.
Leveraging Development Finance Tools to Attract Opportunity Zone Investment
This guide, authored by CDFA and Skeo, provides an overview of various development finance tools and suggestions for how communities could use these tools to finance projects in Opportunity Zones. Each section includes additional resources to learn more, along with case studies to illustrate how development finance tools have been used to support revitalization goals in several 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.
View more Publications

-Webcasts

CDFA-TEDC Webinar: Driving Investment into Texas' Rural Opportunity Zones
During this webinar, expert panelists provided best practices and tips for economic development practitioners on driving investments into rural Opportunity Zones in Texas.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Financing Food-Centered Redevelopment
During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we explored how investing in food-centered redevelopment can restore local food systems infrastructure, catalyze additional neighborhood development, and protect healthy, sustainable communities.
Superfund Redevelopment Program Webinar Series - Opportunity Zones and Superfund SitesMembers only Login
There are over 300 Superfund National Priorities List sites and thousands of Superfund removal sites located in or partially in Opportunity Zones. This webinar discussed Opportunity Zone tax benefits in the context of redeveloping Superfund sites and other types of contaminated properties and how communities, local governments, and developers can utilize these benefits.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Strategies for Catalyzing Investment in Communities
During the April 10, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, Bruce Katz from Drexel University, Rachel Reilly from the Economic Innovation Group, and Katie Kramer from CDFA examined relief efforts run by local governments, philanthropic organizations, chambers, and other local entities to support main street.
The Substance and Significance of the Final Regulations on Opportunity Zones - EIG
EIG hosted a webinar with guest experts to discuss the final regulations on Opportunity Zones, released by Treasury and the IRS on December 19, 2019. Lisa Zarlenga of Steptoe & Johnson LLP and Michael Novogradac of Novogradac & Company LLP provided a detailed overview of key provisions, discussed how the newly-minted rules may influence investment activity, and highlighted topics that were not addressed as part of the final regulatory framework.
View More Webcasts

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