Viewpoint: Opportunity Zones knocking, but few investors answering the call so far

Thursday, April 11, 2019

By Lynnley Browning

Investors eyeing President Donald Trump’s Opportunity Zones face a ticking clock if they want to fully capture one of the biggest tax breaks in decades.

But few so far seem ready to make the leap.

Tucked into the 2017 tax overhaul, Opportunity Zones let investors reduce and postpone taxes on profits from stocks, businesses and investment partnerships provided the money is reinvested in one of more than 8,700 low-income communities across America. Investors can also avoid tax on future profits from those investments, on which they must make “substantial improvements.”

To reap the entire tax bounty, investors have to buy into eligible projects by the end of this year. For investors wanting to fully use the benefit to shelter last year’s profits from hedge funds and other partnerships, the deadline is even sooner — June 29.

The breaks are meant to steer money to parts of the country that have long been starved for capital, creating jobs and economic growth. Critics have said that some zones — like downtown Portland, Oregon and the section of Long Island City, Queens, that was to be home to Inc.’s second headquarters — would have no trouble attracting investors.

Photo courtesy of Jason Mrachina.

Source: Bloomberg (link opens in a new window)

impact investing, urban development