Trump creates opportunity zones council with executive order

Today, President Trump signed Executive Order 13853, promoting public commitment to the opportunity zones program enacted last December as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The executive order establishes the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, led by HUD Secretary Ben Carson. The council is tasked with streamlining, coordinating, and targeting federal resources more efficiently into opportunity zones.

The council will focus on economic development, entrepreneurship, workforce development, and crime prevention. Data collection will also be prioritized, in an effort to understand how opportunity zones investments are impacting communities.

The White House said that 13 federal agencies included in the new council had already drawn up a list of at least 150 potential actions that they could take to support opportunity zones investment.

According to the New York Times:

Projects could include the Agriculture Department targeting water infrastructure and rural broadband spending in certain zones, or the Small Business Administration focusing certain loan programs in designated tracts. The Justice Department could also shepherd spending on anti-crime efforts — such as mentoring and gang-prevention initiatives — to the zones.

Read more: Trump to Steer More Money to ‘Opportunity Zones’