Opportunity Zones News

Rich Rogers

Twinning Historic Tax Credits with Opportunity Zones, with Rich Rogers

Are two tax incentives better than one? Stacking, or twinning, multiple tax credits can oftentimes help bridge a funding gap on certain real estate projects. The Opportunity Zones program can be paired with a variety of other tax credits. The place-based nature of the Opportunity Zones program makes it ideally suited to be paired with the Historic Tax Credit. The HTC is a 40+ year old tax policy that encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings. Here to discuss this with me today is land use law and economic development planning expert Rich Rogers. Click

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U.S. Treasury Building

Senators and Congressmen send OZ letter to Treasury, soliciting clarification

Last week, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) — along with 15 other Senators and Congressmen — sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, seeking clarification on several matters related to the Opportunity Zones tax policy, specifically in regards to investments in operating businesses, certain timing requirements, and community impact. The letter calls attention to five separate points: Agreement with the 70% test as “substantially all” as it pertains to the amount of Opportunity Zone Business Property a business must have. Concern with the proposed rule requiring an Opportunity Zone business to derive 50% of its gross income from the active

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Gerry Reihsen

Creating Positive Social Impact in Opportunity Zones, with Gerry Reihsen

How do we prevent the Opportunity Zones program from becoming merely a subsidy for gentrification? How can we instead ensure that opportunity zone investments actually benefit the people who live in the designated zones so that they can participate in any subsequent economic upturn? Dallas-based entrepreneurial business attorney Gerry Reihsen is out to answer those questions (and more) with his new endeavor — Coasis Coalition, an organization that will offer solutions and create community among those interested in participating in opportunity zone investing. Click the play button below to listen now to my discussion with Gerry. Episode Highlights How Gerry’s

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David Dragoo and John Renfrow

Rural Opportunity Zone Community Revitalization, with Colorado Outdoors

What does an opportunity zone city revitalization project really look like? And how can public-private partnerships help to accelerate a community’s renewal? The Colorado Outdoors project in Montrose County offers an excellent case study to answer these questions. Home to 20,000 people, Montrose is a rural community located in an opportunity zone on Colorado’s western slope. Although it has struggled since the economic downturn of the last decade, Montrose is one of the better up-and-coming communities in its region; and because it is located within 2 hours of every major outdoor activity you can possible imagine, it is truly an

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Allen Alley

Solar Energy Development in Opportunity Zones, with Allen Alley

Will the opportunity zone initiative accelerate the nation’s transition to renewable energy? Find out why solar energy development and opportunity zone investing may be ideally suited for each other. Today’s guest is Allen Alley — technology investor, former Republican candidate for governor of Oregon, and co-founder of the Obsidian Opportunity Fund. Obsidian’s fund applies opportunity fund investing to renewable energy, and solar in particular. Click the play button below to listen as Allen and I discuss his vision for ubiquitous, low-cost, CO2-free power, and how opportunity zones may help make his vision a reality sooner than you think. Episode Highlights

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Who’s investing in OZs? So far, mostly wealthy individuals

Manager interest in launching qualified opportunity zone funds is sky high, but most are still waiting to hear more regulatory clarity from the IRS. Thus far, most of the managers that have launched OZ funds are relatively small private wealth management firms and family offices oriented toward wealthy individual investors, according to P&I. Of course, there have been some exceptions, perhaps most notably SkyBridge Capital’s $3 billion fundraise for the SkyBridge-EJF Opportunity Zone REIT. From P&I: “This is an interesting new pocket of opportunity for money managers to attract taxable wealth management investors, but so far, there’s been more smoke

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Greg Genovese

Project-Driven Opportunity Zone Funds, with Greg Genovese

Why are shovel-ready project-driven Opportunity Zone funds usually superior to blind-pool funds? Greg Genovese is president of Sound West Realty Capital, a real estate development group based in the Seattle area. Originally from the California Bay Area, Greg relocated to Bremerton, WA last year to head Sound West’s opportunity zone projects. Click the play button below to listen as Greg and I discuss what investors should look for in any opportunity zone investment and the business case for Opportunity Zone investing west of Seattle. This episode has been temporarily removed. Please check back soon.

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Vijar Kohli

Small Business Investing in Opportunity Zones, with Vijar Kohli

New business development and job creation in economically blighted communities were two of the main goals of the opportunity zone legislation passed by Congress last year. But so far, the vast majority of opportunity zone funds are focused solely on real estate development. The problem with business is that it’s murky. Which ones will qualify as being opportunity zone eligible investments is still a gray area, mostly because businesses often times do expand beyond their physical geographies. And the IRS still has not issued final guidelines on what exactly constitutes an OZ business. But this hasn’t stopped some from investing

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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico gets two more opportunity zones

Two additional census tracts in Puerto Rico have been designated as Opportunity Zones by the Treasury Department. The two tracts — 72119130102, located in Rio Grande, and 72137122002 located in Toa Baja — meet the statutory criteria for a Low-Income Community based on new American Community Survey data (2012-2016).

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President Trump signs opportunity zones executive order

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

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