The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 established a new economic tax incentive called Opportunity Zones. The incentive is designed to encourage long-term, private investments in low-income census tracts by providing a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds, which are then invested into opportunity zones.
Opportunity Funds are specialized tax vehicles dedicated to low-income areas and aimed at spurring investment and entrepreneurialism. Ultimately, that will result in business creation and economic prosperity in areas called Opportunity Zones. The zones must be comprised of Low-Income Community Census Tracts (LIC), designated by governors in every state and territory. Census tracts with a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater and/or family income less than 80 percent of the area’s median income are eligible for consideration.
Once designated, tracts remain in place for 10 years.