On June 17, the White House Opportunity Zone Council, lead by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, delivered a report to the Administration outlining best practices and examples of revitalization that relate to Opportunity Zone investments. According to its press release, “President Trump established the Council to support the Administration’s pledge to encourage public and private investment in urban and economically distressed areas, including Opportunity Zones.”
Established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are a new community development program that encourages long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. The Opportunity Zone Program provides tax incentives for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOF). QOFs are private sector investment vehicles that invest at least 90 percent of their capital in Opportunity Zones. The report issued to the administration includes case and best practices observed across the country.
The report is divided up into five sections. The first highlights examples of communities that have been successful in their use of Opportunity Zones. This section includes best practices for local governments using Opportunity Fund investments in existing community infrastructure and anchor institutions. The second section examines state-level actions that can benefit Opportunity Zones, including state-specific actions that can create certainty and stability for investors. The third section of the report focuses on foundations and non-profits that have made positive social and economic impacts in Opportunity Zones. The fourth section focuses on best practices for ensuring qualified Opportunity Funds correlate with needed paths toward community revitalization. Lastly, the fifth section discusses how to pair Opportunity Zone capital with federal resources.
The full report can be found here.