Mayors Hold National Call on Opportunity Zones
On Wednesday, February 26, mayors from across the country joined the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City to discuss Opportunity Zone Funds, and how cities can leverage Opportunity Zone Funds to develop new city projects. Speakers included William Lambe of Enterprise Community Investment Inc., Noelle St. Clair of Woodforest National Bank, and Jonathan Tower of Arctaris.
Resources for Mayors
Opportunity Zone Fund Directories
- Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin Provides Impact Report on Opportunity Zones at 88th USCM Winter Meeting – Click Here for Slides
- Treasury and IRS Issue Final Regulations on Opportunity Zones – December 19th, 2019
- Kresge Foundation: The Power of the Guarantee
- Kresge Foundation: Presentation on Opportunity Zones – U.S. Conference of Mayors 87th Annual Meeting
- U.S. Conference of Mayors Response to Treasury’s Proposed Regulations on Investing in Qualified Opportunity Zones – June 30th, 2019
- U.S Conference of Mayors Response Letter to Treasury’s Request for Information (RFI) – Friday, May 31st 2019
- U.S. Treasury’s Second Round of Opportunity Zone Regulations – Friday, May 3rd 2019
- Treasury & IRS Release Second Round of Opportunity Zone Regulations – Wednesday, April 17th 2019
- Detailed Summary of November 20th Call with Mayors
- Top USCM Priorities for Opportunity Zones Regulation
- City of Louisville Opportunity Zone Prospectus – Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
- City of Mesa Opportunity Zone Prospectus – Mesa Mayor John Giles
- Press Release: Mayor John Giles and City of Mesa Releases Opportunity Zone Prospectus
- Opportunity Zone Investment Prospectus Guide
- From Transactions to Transformation: How Cities Can Maximize Opportunity Zones (Executive Summary)
- From Transactions to Transformation: How Cities Can Maximize Opportunity Zones (Full Policy Brief)
About Opportunity Zones
Section 13823 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 establishes a new section of the Internal Revenue Code (1400Z1), which sets forth a process for the designation of Opportunity Zones and the establishment of tax incentives for investors in Opportunity Funds. The provision is designed to spur investment in low-income communities. The language included in the tax bill was originally sponsored in earlier legislation by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI)
Over 8,700 Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) have been certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury after being nominated by their state’s Governors. According to EIG three quarters of certified QOZs lie within metro areas. High density urban zones comprise 39.8% of total zones; low density rural areas comprise 38.2% and medium density suburban zones equal 22.2%. 69% of the population of QOZs live in census tracts that are severely distressed. The average poverty rate of QOZs is 31%, significantly higher than the 20% eligibility threshold.
See “Opportunity Zones Mapping Tools” in the resources section below for a listing of designated Opportunity Zones.
Now that Opportunity Zones have been designated, Mayors have several opportunities to lead by:
1. Identifying viable existing or new projects and investment opportunities to market to qualified Opportunity Funds.
2. Convening community and business leaders to develop strategic plans for zones that couple public project priorities with the private investment projects to streamline and coordinate market growth in low-income areas.
3. Creating their own opportunity funds in partnership with existing national or local financial institutions.
- Click here for the Treasury, IRS initial press release of October 19, 2018.
- Click here for the proposed regulations as they appear in the Federal Register, October 29th 2018.
- Opportunity Zones mapping tool
- Letter to Acting Commissioner Kautter on the issuance of guidelines (August 23, 2018)
- Guidelines for Opportunity Zones from the Department of the Treasury
- Department of Treasury Press Release: “Treasury, IRS Issue Guidance On Opportunity Zones To Spur Private Investment In Distressed Communities”
Latest News on Opportunity Zones
On Wednesday, February 26, mayors from across the country joined the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City to discuss Opportunity Zone Funds, and how cities can leverage Opportunity Zone Funds to develop
On November 5th, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced one of the city's first Opportunity Zone investments by the Marin Group. According to the city, the new project will expand Blacksmith Iron Works, a fabrication and custom
On October 29, 2018 The U.S. Treasury published its first set of proposed regulations governing Opportunity Zone tax incentives. Comment deadline on the proposed rules is December 28, 2018, and a public hearing is scheduled
Statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin on Meeting with Treasury Secretary on Opportunity Zones
Washington, DC—Today, a bipartisan delegation of mayors, led by U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin, met with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to discuss the importance of timely and effective IRS
For More Information
If you have any questions about opportunity zones are want to get more information, please contact Dave Gatton at 202-293-7330.