The 2020 Election and Opportunity Zones, with Mike Novogradac and John Sciarretti

Michael Novogradac

What impact will the 2020 election have on the Opportunity Zones incentive? Expect major changes if Joe Biden is elected, and potential expansion of the program if Donald Trump wins reelection. The balance of power in the Senate should have an impact as well.

Mike Novogradac is the managing partner of Novogradac, a top 50 accounting firm founded in 1989. John Sciarretti is chair of the Novogradac Opportunity Zones conferences and leader of the Novogradac Opportunity Zones Working Group.

Click the play button below to listen to my conversation with Mike and John.

Episode Highlights

  • How different election outcomes would likely impact the future of Opportunity Zones: what to expect if Trump is reelected; what to expect if Biden is elected.
  • How the balance of power in the Senate could also impact Opportunity Zones.
  • How the number of tracts designated as Opportunity Zones may be increased if Trump wins reelection.
  • Possibility of the 2026 deadline getting extended by at least 2 years.
  • Bipartisan support for Opportunity Zone reporting requirements and impact assessments.
  • How a Biden victory could lead to regulatory changes and more fund oversight, potentially with certification by the CDFI Fund.
  • Why certain Opportunity Zone tracts may be phased out at some point in the future.
  • How a tax rate increase should be considered by potential Opportunity Zone investors.
  • What the CEA report on Opportunity Zones reveals, and an update on the Novogradac Opportunity Zone investment survey.
  • Main takeaways from the Novogradac 2020 Opportunity Zones Fall Virtual Conference, and a preview of their upcoming spring 2021 conference.
  • The services that Novogradac provides to Qualified Opportunity Funds and Qualified Opportunity Zone Businesses.

Featured on This Episode

Industry Spotlight: Novogradac

Novogradac

Based in San Francisco, Novogradac is a top 50 national accounting firm with an emphasis in the real estate sector, specializing in tax credits. In recent years, the firm has become one of the foremost thought leaders in the Opportunity Zone industry and are one of the leading providers of education and live events in the space.

Learn more about Novogradac:

About the Opportunity Zones Podcast

Hosted by OpportunityDb.com founder Jimmy Atkinson, the Opportunity Zones Podcast features guest interviews from fund managers, advisors, policymakers, tax professionals, and other foremost experts in opportunity zones.

Show Transcript

Jimmy: Welcome to the Opportunity Zones Podcast. I’m your host, Jimmy Atkinson. On October 22nd, and 23rd. Hundreds of Opportunity Zones stakeholders convened for the Novogradac fall 2020 Opportunity Zones Virtual Conference, and joining me to recap some of the key takeaways from the conference are Mike Novogradac and John Sciarretti. Mike joins us from San Francisco. And John joins us from Dover Ohio. Gentlemen, welcome back.

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Mike: Thank you. It feels great to be back.

Jimmy: Yeah, very, very great to have you guys back with me again, we are one week from Election Day, less than a week from Election Day, I should say. And, Mike, I know that the election was one of the big themes that played throughout the conference last week. Can you just kind of recap what are some of the big takeaways from the conference as a whole?

Mike: Yes, I’d be happy to. And thank you, Jimmy. Thanks for having John and me back on the show. Yours is a must listen to podcast that I’m following every week. So thank you for all that you’re doing for Opportunity Zones. And thank you also, in a more personal level for all you did, or in supporting the event itself. We had great attendance we had hundreds of attendees. And one of the interesting things I really would like to be in person. And hopefully our next event, which is in April, we’ll be able to be in person, our next event in April, will definitely be live stream. And this is obviously all virtual, it wasn’t in person. But one of the features of being a virtual conference is it is all recorded. So we actually find that, you know, many attendees come in and they watch some of the sessions and some of the sessions they’re even watching later. So your listeners, if they are interested in any particular sessions, they still could even go in and register and attend after the fact. And we make it available for three months. But clearly one of the key it may be the overriding theme of all the various sessions was the election. And the election is obviously ends in a week from today. I like to say at some level, that Tuesday is the end of the election, because over 60 million have already voted in by Tuesday that number will be in by next Tuesday. But certainly by the end of the day, on Tuesday, everyone will have voted who’s gonna vote, and it will just be counting the ballots to see who wins the presidency and who controls the Senate. And that is one of the sort of driving themes. When everyone asked me about Opportunity Zones, and what impact election could have, you really have to look and say, there’s two factors, two binary factors that we’re really looking at to see what impact the election is likely to have on the Opportunity Zones incentive and the distressed communities that they serve.

One is obviously who controls the presidency? If Donald Trump get reelected? Or does Joe Biden get elected as Vice President Joe Biden get elected to be president and sort of the Republicans or Democrats control the presidency and the administration and all the regulatory policy that the President controls. That’s one of that binary items. The other is who controls the senate? Will the democrats take control of the Senate? Or will Republicans keep control the Senate, and we can talk a little bit later about what it means to control the Senate. Because the level of control obviously matters and how the rules of the Senate are gonna matter. But if the Democrats control the Senate Republicans, and I didn’t mention the house representatives. But that’s only because most expect the Democrats to retain control of the house representatives, they have a substantial reasonable majority right now, in summary in projecting the pickup seat, maybe the Republicans can pick up seats on a net basis, but everyone expects the house to control. So we’re sort of looking at it and saying, who controls the presidency? Who controls the Senate? Knowing the house stays Democrat, that provides the framework for analyzing what impact the election is gonna have on Opportunity Zones?

Jimmy: Right. It’s definitely a big topic on the minds of a lot of investors and other participants. In the Opportunity Zones incentive. I get asked that question a lot. What happens if Biden wins? What happens if Trump is reelected? So, John I wanna turn to you now and again, assuming that the house results is a foregone conclusion that the democrats retain control of the House. John, what happens if President Trump is reelected?

John: I guess I’ll refer to it as the Trafalgar scenario, which is the only poll that has Trump in it. But if Trump is reelected, and let’s just say that the Senate stays Republican, and for many folks say that everything sort of remains the same. But President Trump is publicly expressed his desire to expand Opportunity Zones. He didn’t give us much information around what that means. But he did express a desire and we were fortunate enough at the conference to have Darren Smith, who is the Deputy Assistant to the President. And he was our keynote at the conference and he shed some light on what it might look like this expansion that Trump’s referred to, he noted three areas of expansion. First, he talked about potentially doubling the number of eligible tracks, he sort of referred to giving governors the second bite at the apple, indicating, as we I think all sort of are aware that it did come on kind of fast, folks really didn’t know what Opportunity Zones, were sort of how they operated in. So he thought it’d be a good idea to give governors and mayors a chance to select additional tracks. And he sort of mentioned maybe 25%, more so. So that was the first thing he referred to.

And then he talked about extension around some of the timeframes so that investors can realize the full value of the incentive, which I sort of took the mean, that is an extension of the 2026 day by a couple of years. So folks can stay around for the full seven years, at least new investors and get the full 15%. And then lastly, he mentioned legislation that were required data collection and impact studies, which is coming from both sides of the aisle. So that’s what Jerome had to say, with respect to the Senate, in sort of their desires, their legislative desires. You know, we had invited senator Scott, he had scheduling conflicts. But we were very fortunate to have his legislative assistant, Emily Lavery join us. And she commented that she expected bipartisan support to continue to grow in the program, she voiced the senators support for the extension as well, similar to what Jerome indicated by at least two years to restore this 15% benefit for new investors. And that reporting as well. And then limiting the future investment in a handful of zones, the contiguous zones is sort of bad press.

And then when you look at senator Scott’s impact that it sort of captures most of what she was talking about impact that it was about a year ago, a bill that Senator Scott sponsored, it called for reporting as well for funds and investors, penalties for bad actors. And, again, comprehensive reporting by Treasury once it compiles all the data from these investors, and the like. And then he also called for a comprehensive security impact study every five years. So that all would be legislative, of course. But I think that’s what we could expect from a legislative perspective. If, you know, we have this Trafalgar effect, or Trafalgar scenario, in the election, of course, you know, Democrats most likely will still control the house, and so they’ll need to concur with any legislation, really, whether the senate stays Republican or Democrat. If President Trump is in office, then there’s no need to be a pile of bipartisan legislation in order to get anything passed. And I think it’s good to see that there is bipartisan agreement around reporting and around perhaps some of these zones, not being considered Opportunity Zones in the future. With a Democratic Senate, of course, there’ll be a greater push for democratic priorities. And Mike’s gonna cover that a little later on in the podcast.

Jimmy: Yeah, that makes sense that, you know, if Trump remains in office, if he gets reelected, no matter if the democrats take control, the Senate of the republicans take control the Senate, you’re still gonna have a democrat house. So either way, it’s gonna have to be some bipartisan cooperation on any new legislation that goes through. One other thing I did wanna mention is that the Trafalgar scenario I like that you call it that I would like to point out that the Trafalgar group was one of the few polling organizations that got the 2016 election largely right, they were one of the most accurate ones. So it’ll be really interesting to see how this one plays out over the next week or so. It’ll also be interesting to see when we actually find out the results of the election. Maybe Mike can go into that for us a little bit here, too. Mike, I will turn to you now. Let’s take a look at the other scenario. What if Biden gets elected? What happens with Opportunity Zones? And what does that look like?

Mike: Yeah, that’s definitely a scenario that could look a lot more different than the path that we’re on right now. Because we’re definitely right now on this bipartisan path, where you get to look for legislation to pass the Congress, you need bipartisan support. And if Trump reelected, as you pointed out with Trump in the White House, and the house controlled by Democrats will still need to be bipartisan. If Biden is elected president, then the first step is from a regulatory policy perspective, you could definitely expect to see changes in terms of how Opportunity Zones are regulated, irrespective as to who controls the Senate. If the Senate is controlled by Republicans, then it’ll have to be bipartisan. In whatever legislation passes, so if you have a Biden president and a by a Republican senate and a Democratic house, then congressional enters of legislative initiatives in the like, it’s not gonna be all that different, slightly more democratic tilted, if you will, but not all that dramatically different than the scenario of Trump’s president, because it’ll have to be bipartisan.

I’ll talk in a moment about what it could mean, if we have a Democratic sweep, or as some were suggesting a potential blue wave or a blue tsunami, if it’s even more dramatic, but I wanna first talk about the regulatory policy, because that’s the area where as President, Joe Biden could have an impact without passing additional legislation. And the best place to look in terms of Vice President Biden’s current view on Opportunity Zones is their website, where they specifically have incorporated Opportunity Zones as a policy to be supportive of, but at the same time, making changes to the incentive from a regulatory perspective. And I think the area we get the most questions about is probably have to do with certification, and how opportunity funds might be regulated. And this is something that, if Biden is elected, we expect our Opportunity Zones working group to be particularly active, our working group is always active. But if Biden does win the presidency, then we’ll be going back and revisiting a lot of suggestions we made on the whole certification process of opportunity funds. And right now, as you know, and the listeners know, you know, the funds self certify.

And we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Biden became president, that the self certification rules change. And there’s some level of compliance and oversight through the certification process. And we could also see the CDFI Fund, which currently had a limited role in identifying the qualifying areas to be a more expanded role in terms of overseeing of qualified opportunity funds. So we’ll be spending close attention to that, and then developing our own recommendations with respect to that. But I would note in terms of the three major areas that Vice President Biden has discussed with respect to Opportunity Zones, is one he wants to incentivize opportunity funds to partner with nonprofit or community oriented organizations, and produce a community benefit plan for each investment. And many believe that you can do that through the certification requirement process. A secondary that he wants to focus on, is having Opportunity Zone and benefits be reviewed by the Department of Treasury. Now, when I think of being reviewed by the Department of Treasury, I think CDFI Fund, which is a department or agency within the Department of Treasury, so you could easily see how that ties into certification as well.

And then, third, in introducing transparency, we’ve talked about reporting and the need for legislation to incorporate reporting, some believe that if through the certification process, you could require detailed reporting as a requirement to be certified. So there’s a lot that could happen on the oversight of the funds themselves. But also on the regulatory side, from the IRS perspective, we, through our Opportunity Zones Working Group, submitted comments, for instance, on how the regulations could be adjusted to encourage investment in affordable housing. And unfortunately, a lot of our suggestions weren’t adopted. But we didn’t bend the arc well enough on affordable housing, so there’s a number of provisions in the regulations that we’d like to see modified to increase the incentive for investing in affordable housing. So we think that if Biden were to become president, then we might be able to revisit some of the Treasury regulations to better support investments in affordable housing. So there’s a lot that can happen on the regulatory side.

On the legislative side, if, as I noted earlier, if the Republicans do keep the Senate, then it’s gonna be pretty bipartisan in terms of legislation and all that is discussed with W is probably the most relevant, and John’s summary is a good overview. You know, the more interesting from a legislative perspective, the greater possibilities happen if the Democrats take over the Senate.

And the interesting part about the Democrats taking over control the Senate is no one projects, they would have 60 votes, everyone thinks they might be 50 votes 51, 52 or 50 votes, and Biden wins the presidency. And Kamala Harris would be the tie breaking vote as Vice President. But the majority won’t be 60. And the 60, as you know, and most listeners know is to overcome a filibuster, you need 60 votes. So as a general matter, you would say, “Well, if the democrats control the Senate, they need 60 votes to be able to really pass any legislation in the current rule.” So that would suggest maybe you still have to be bi partisan. But there is a mechanism you can use to get around the filibuster. And it’s called budget reconciliation. I won’t go into all that here. But they could use budget reconciliation and only need 50 votes. They could also do away with the filibuster. And I won’t get into that whole debate about whether or not the Democrats should do with the filibuster in the Senate. But that’s another way.

So it’s quite possible that the Democrats would be able to take over the control of the Senate pass a tax bill with 50 votes that could affect Opportunity Zones. So then you might say, what would we expect to see if that was the case? And we already talked about reporting, we’d expect to see that we actually would expect to see some zones phased out, and maybe 50 hundred 200 zones, zones that are higher income zones that might be continuous tracks, and other zones that have gotten some of the bad press, a handful of zones have gotten bad press and even senator Scott as John noted, has suggested some zones might be worthy of phasing out. So that current investments would still qualify, but future investments wouldn’t do the opposite of what we’ve been working on some draft language to ensure that all existing investments would still qualify.

But there also could be more expansive limitation some businesses can be disallowed to defy human development, institutions could become qualified businesses to invest in a lot in the community development still would love to see that. There could be additional funding provided through other grant programs and the like to tie in to Opportunity Zone, on investing to create deeper equity subsidy. There’s a lot possible there. And then maybe then one thing I would also keep a close eye on is the role of Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Ron Wyden did introduce a bill that had a number of reporting changes. And the reason why I particularly focus on Senator Ron Wyden is if the democrats do take control of the Senate, he would become the Senate Finance Committee Chairman. And as the chairman of that committee, he would obviously have a great influence on tax bills. And he did introduce a bill that your listeners might wanna go in and look at, you can find it on our website, that runs through a number of provisions, a lot of what I just discussed, but that would definitely be something that, you know, I’m sure he would be turning to as he came up with legislation. But there a lot there. And what I just sort of said, but I did wanna talk about one other item that you’ve talked about before on your podcast that has to do with the proposal that Joe Biden has in his tax plan to increase both the corporate tax rate and the individual tax rate. And he proposes increased individual tax rate to 39.6%. And income levels over a million dollars. And he also proposes to increase the corporate tax, or I should say, 39.6%, on incomes over 400,000. But 39.6% for tax, taxable gains. When the taxman gets over a million, that’s a notable tax rate increase on capital gains. But I would just say that, the interesting part about increasing tax rates there’s a lot of clients are coming to us saying, “Do I really wanna defer a capital gain in the next year, if there’s a potential to be subject or not in the next year, you know, into 2026? If there’s the potential for higher tax rates in 2026, should I just recognize the game now versus subjecting it to a higher tax rate?” But as you’ve noted the value of the step up, and the fact that if you hold the investment for 10 years you don’t pay tax on capital gain is really valuable. If the capital gains tax rate does go up. So it’s a little bit of a higher tax rate. You know, in a few years, a higher tax has been a few years to really save a lot in 10 years.

Jimmy: Yeah, absolutely. A lot to unpack there Mike, thanks for that detailed answer. I would also suggest that 2026 is still a long ways off, we were gonna have yet another presidential election before then. So who knows what 2024 might bring in terms of a different administration or changes to the tax code? So unpacking your answer, it seems like from what you are saying, Mike, and from what John said earlier, that we can count on a couple of things happening with Opportunity Zones, no matter what happens with this election. We’re very likely to see more reporting, I think that’s there’s broad bipartisan support, to introduce more reporting requirements, what form those take exactly is subject to some further examination, the devils in the detail, I suppose. And it sounds like, both parties may be in favor of phasing out some zones, you know, maybe a handful of zones or I think you said 100 or 200 zones, maybe those contiguous tract zones that don’t actually meet the low income threshold. Is that correct?

Mike: That’s right on a prospective basis.

Jimmy: Right, got it. And but the main differences would be fundable. sight and what could happen on the regulatory side? And what kind of new tax bill Biden and Democrat senate might be able to get through. And then you mentioned the Wyden bill. I’ll link to that from our show notes page today as well. That’s one to keep an eye on, as well. John I wanna turn back to you now and get your take on any other highlights from the conference? We’ve been speaking about the election a lot. But there was more that went on at the conference, besides just election talk, what are their highlights? Would you like to focus on from the conference from last week?x

John: I think, sort of general takeaways that we’re encouraging, is, you know, when you look at our initial conference in New Orleans today the discussion around operating businesses, in our latest conference, it was an incredible increase. I was encouraged by all the talk of folks looking at operating businesses, and then the anecdotal examples of the types of operating businesses like broadband data centers have been a number of vertical farming investments, and even solar coupled with real estate. And a lot of the real estate being sort of owner occupied type real estate which is really directed toward the operating businesses that are operating, that are occupying it. So that was encouraging. And then the evolution of community strategy, there was a lot of talk up front itself, you know, the Opportunity Zones, the power of the Opportunity Zones was to have this focus, concentrated. And all stakeholders sort of working to invest in areas that localities felt were important to the growth of the community and in the strategies around that. There’s a number of folks like Bruce Katz, with a Governance Project and the like. That seem to really have made effect on communities you heard in the community panel, real strategies and real people coming together and being able to sort of maximize investment for transformation on inclusive projects. So even though there’s not reporting yet, and even though, there’s not a mandate or requirements to do this stuff, people are doing it. And it was encouraging to see that. And it was a real difference from the earlier conferences where folks were primarily talking about real estate.

I know, Jimmy actually had the operating business session. And he actually said he’s getting more calls today for operating business investments than he is for real estate, it’s sort of flipped. So that was encouraging. Other highlights is we actually did have Kevin Corinth I chaired or I moderated down, Kevin Corinth, was a chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisers. And in August, they came out with an initial assessment on Opportunity Zones. And he gave a short presentation around that assessment. And some takeaways from that is he did, based on his research and analysis indicate that the poverty rate for the Opportunity Zones is double that of all other census tracts. And based on that report, they estimated that $75 billion has been raised by the end of 2019. And most of which were not in Opportunity Zones without the incentive. And so that was an interesting fact with that report, they actually use our investment survey as data to help inform their capitalist survey. So that was nice to hear that they use our survey. I’ll talk about our survey a little bit as well. But one other thing that he did come up with is that the housing values and Opportunity Zones, the Opportunity Zone designation, based on their research, increased the value of housing by 1.1% through 2019, and each dollar equity raised by opportunity funds only cost the government 15 cents. So those are the main takeaways of the report. And you can even find that report. I know you’ve mentioned it in the past. Jimmy and maybe we have a link on your website already to it, but it’s an interesting report. But I did say that they in order to project or estimate the fundraising today, they actually use a Novogradac number of qualified opportunity funds service. And what that is, is we actually track a number of funds. I think it’s 800 to 38 funds today. And 598 of those funded which have been funded. And they’re multi-investor funds. And we do direct surveys with those funds, as well as get that in the public space, like FCC filings and the like. And we produce a fundraising survey. And we, through October 20th, our survey indicates that $12.8 billion has been raised by the subset of funds that we track. So a lot different than the 75 billion. But again, it’s just a subset that we’re tracking.

So I do wanna encourage your listeners, any of them that are funds that aren’t already providing data to us if they can contact Christiana Cohen, of Novogradac, or me. And we can set you up to start providing information in your phone list in our survey of the fund raising survey that we produce 82% of its residential real estate today, and 17% is commercial real estate, less than 1% operating businesses at this point. So we’re hoping to see that go up. But that’s sort of the main takeaways from the conference.

Jimmy: Yeah, that’s great, John, thank you. I think you’re absolutely right, that we have seen that it was the pros, you mentioned, my partner, Ashley Tyson, had mentioned on his panel, that he’s seeing a big uptick in folks interested in doing operating business investment. And that’s anecdotally I can share the same thing. That’s what I’m hearing as well as there’s a lot more people contacting me through my site about potentially doing operating business investing, and in doing capital raising in that asset class as opposed to just real estate. I guess this investment vehicle has come a long way, this incentive has come a long way, the past two, three years here, become a more mature marketplace now. And I love seeing entrepreneurs with really good business ideas come to us and want to use the Opportunity Zones, incentive and leverage the Opportunity Zones incentives to help them raise additional capital. You mentioned the report that the Council of Economic Advisers, division of the White House released two months ago, that $75 billion of private capital has been raised by qualified opportunity funds. And that’s just as of the end of 2019. I’d be really interested to see them update that next year, I’d love to see what they say, by the end of 2020. Because I have a suspicion that that number is gonna only grow much larger. I also find it interesting that I believe the treasury secretary, Secretary Minuchin had estimated 100 billion dollars would flow into this investment vehicle over the life of the program. So we’re well ahead of pace, if I’m not mistaken. Is that your take as well?

John: I mean, that is right, that was the number that had been used with the administration. And that’s also the number that’s consistent with what the joint committee taxation, the scoring arm for tax provisions in Congress had estimated. So it’s definitely well, sort of above that pace. I’d also note, though, with respect to the survey, in our numbers, you know, still under 13 billion, which is a if you look go back six or seven months, we were at 10 billion. And COVID-19 has definitely had an impact in terms of slowing the immediacy of a lot of capital contributions to coop opportunity funds, since it extended the deadline to the end of this year. So we are expecting a huge increase in investment and opportunity funds between now and the end of the year, to deal with the deadlines that Congress extended. So we think by early next year, our capital raising numbers that we’re tracking are going to be substantially higher.

Jimmy: Yeah, I’m expecting the same thing. And just to reiterate what John said earlier, you know, you guys are providing a very valuable service with that capital raising survey that you have. So yeah, if you are out there and you are raising capital, and you have a fund, please do report it to Novogradac, you can get in touch with John, I’ll be sure to link to his email address and Cristianos email in the show notes page for today’s episode. Gentlemen, you’ve got another Opportunity Zone conference coming up. It seems like they just keep going, tell us a little bit about the next one. What’s on tap for that one, when it is and where it is? Is it all virtual this time again, or might it be in person?

Mike: Hopefully not? Hopefully not. So our next Conference is in Long Beach and Long Beach has a number of Opportunity Zones in that part of California and April 22nd and 23rd and we’re definitely live streaming it. So we know that even if we can hold it in person, many maybe won’t be ready to travel. So we will livestream the event. And we’re hoping that we can do a live event. And we’re waiting to see, depending upon how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, and will only hold event if it’s safe to hold. But we’re currently hoping that will build up the live event. But it is those dates. And we are still working on the agenda for it. So we welcome your thoughts in terms of what sessions we should have we welcome your listeners thoughts and what sessions we should have at the end of this last conference, we always survey attendees as to what they would like to see. So we’re still working the agenda and we welcome the advice from others, but it’ll definitely be focused on legislative activity. Now, I certainly expect that by next April. Well, like they have had, there’s a good chance we’ll have had some major legislation passed Congress with tax provisions. So there’ll be a lot to report on. And also, they’ll be a lot to report in terms of what’s happening with respect to the infrastructure bill and the like, as well as what could be happening right before up front. There’s gonna be a lot of areas to cover next April.

Jimmy: Yeah, I agree. There should be a lot to report on. Even if Trump gets reelected, I think there’ll be plenty to report on but especially if Biden gets elected as a new president, with a lot more fun oversight and bringing some new ideas on the regulatory side, I think you’ll have more than enough to cover. I’m not sure two days will be enough. But I wish you luck. And I would encourage everyone listening to register for that. Where can they go to register for this? Is the registration open yet?

Mike: It is just go to www.novoco.com/events. Or they can just search Novogradac conferences.

Jimmy: Fantastic. But you know, before we go, you guys have been on the podcast a few times, I’ve highlighted Novogradac services, and many of our listeners are very familiar with what you do. But in case there’s a new listener out there, or someone who’s just learning about the Opportunity Zones space, could you tell us a little bit about the services that Novogradac provides and why someone who is developing a fund or maybe a real estate developer may wanna use your services.

Mike: Yeah, we do do more than a sponsor conferences, and provide public policy advice. So John, go ahead and describe the variety of services, we provide for Opportunity Fund clients and crop it up to it’s own businesses and investors and the like.

John: Sure. So we, I mean, we spend a lot of time advising through our transaction advisory services, and that entails helping structure funds, ensuring that businesses are qualified, helping them to inform the benefit of the incentive, so that funds can communicate that to their investors. We do have a lot of financial modeling around these transactions and really help businesses that may not be qualified, even sort of come up with a strategy to help them get to the point where they are qualified. So we’re part of a lot of closings, transaction teams, and that’s sort of our consulting around the space. And then we’re a traditional accounting firms so we do tax analogies. And this is sort of the season or the period where we’re signing up a number of funds, new funds to do audits, and funds that were already doing audits of and helping with the year-end planning, making sure all their compliance is in order before they get to the end of the year, and then have some time to fix things that might be broken. And so it’s a busy time right now, working with a number of funds out there planning for these audit and tax engagements, and ensuring that their compliance is in order. And it’s been exciting to see all the progress funds have made over the last year. You know, the money that they’ve raised and the projects that they’ve done. So it’s a fun time of year. You know, business has been great. We’re always looking for more so if anybody wants to contact us can contact me directly for any of our services.

Jimmy: Fantastic. And, again, before we go, can you tell our listeners where they can go to learn more about the two of you and Novogradac?

John: Sure, our website is novoco.com. And we actually have an Opportunity Zones portal in our services section.

Jimmy: Fantastic, yeah, very valuable resource there your Opportunity Zones Resource Center actually helped get me up to speed when I was first starting to learn about the Opportunity Zones. I went to you guys, as one of my first go to sources when I was first learning about Opportunity Zones way back when… well, for our listeners out there, I will have show notes on the Opportunity Zones database website, and you can find those show notes at opportunitydb.com/podcast and there you’ll find links to all of the resources that Mike, John, and I, discussed on today’s show. I’ll be sure to link to the Wyden bill as well as the Opportunity Zone Resource Center at novoco.com I’ll post some information about their upcoming Opportunity Zones Conference in Long Beach. Mike and John again it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to join my listeners and me. Thank you.

Mike: Great, thank you, Jimmy. Thanks for everything you do for the Opportunity Zone incentive and in the distressed communities it serves.

Jimmy Atkinson

Jimmy Atkinson

Hi, I'm Jimmy Atkinson... I founded OpportunityDb in August 2018. I'm a veteran Internet entrepreneur with a background in economics and Web marketing. I previously founded ETFdb.com. These days, I am passionate about impact investing and tax-advantaged investment opportunities. At the crossroads of these two ideals is the opportunity zones program, a place-based tax policy intended to economically transform some of the poorest areas of the United States with new real estate and business development.

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