Viewpoint: The Problem With Opportunity Zones

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

By Kimberlee Cornett

When President Trump signed the Investing in Opportunity Act into law in 2017, it caught the attention of mayors and entrepreneurs as well as developers and investors. They all saw the promise to increase economic opportunities for the many communities that have increasingly watched those opportunities slip away.

By waiving capital-gains taxes for long-term investments in more than 8,000 designated low-income census tracts across the country — referred to as “opportunity zones” — the incentive is intended to stimulate commerce and create jobs in economically distressed communities.

But how will we know if it’s really working? The legislation currently has no built-in reporting requirements to make clear which projects received investment. Nor does it require managers to track or measure the impact on their communities.

Photo courtesy of Mike Boening.

Source: Governing (link opens in a new window)

impact investing, poverty alleviation, public policy, urban development