Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds – Another Economic Tool for Your Community?

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017 also established what looks like a beneficial tool to attract private capital investment to economically distressed communities.

Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds were included by Congress in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage long-term private sector capital investments in low-income communities (based on Census Tract data).  Governors are tasked with nominating eligible Opportunity Zones to the U.S. Department of Treasury by March 21, 2018 (they may request a 30-day extension from this date).  The governor of each state may nominate up to 25% of low income census tracts for Opportunity Zone status. Opportunity Zones and the associated Opportunity Funds look to have a lot of potential in attracting private investment to economically disadvantaged communities and it may be helpful to advocate for nomination of census tracts in your community.  A map of eligible census tracts may be viewed at this link .

Resources for more information on Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds:
U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release
U.S. Department of Treasury Opportunity Zone Resources
Interactive Map of Census Tracts Eligible for Nomination as Opportunity Zones
International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Informational Webinar on YouTube

About Daryl Phillips, CEcD

I am a professional economic developer. I presently work for communities and companies in developing and implementing workforce and economic development solutions as CEO of Phillips Economic Development Solutions (Phi EDS). Prior to September 2017, I was the economic development professional who served a community team of elected officials, business people, community leaders and dedicated stakeholders for economic development in Cheatham County, Tennessee (pop. 39,880) and its four towns. During my five-year tenure, I served the team as Cheatham County grew over 1,700 jobs, turned around population declines at the start of this decade into healthy population growth, increased tourism expenditures 20.3% and local tax revenue from tourism 25.4%, grew sales tax revenue 36%, focused on developing the local workforce and was recognized by SmartAsset as having the 9th highest Incoming Investment Index of all the 95 counties in Tennessee. I am a member of International Economic Development Council, Southern Economic Development Council, Tennessee Economic Development Council and International Council of Shopping Centers. I have earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from National Development Council and hold a Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.
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