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The Impact of Opportunity Zones

ity Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Benjamin Carson was recently interviewed on Fox News’ "The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton” to talk the proposed new regulations aimed at making it easier for investors to take advantage of tax breaks for investing in “Opportunity Zones” in low-income areas.

According to Carson, in the past, “policies have been pretty much aimed at putting people into programs,” and he states that HUD’s goal is to move people out of programs as quickly as possible and be self sufficient.

Carson stated that there are over 8,700 opportunity zones currently in the U.S., noting that “the entire island of Puerto Rico is an opportunity zone.”

According to Carson, Opportunity Zones were set up to enable private investors to re-invest profits into designated areas, and investors “are going to invest that money somewhere.” He noted private investors would do what they do because they “want to be successful.”

Charles Tassell, COO for the National Real Estate Investors Association, talked opportunity zones in the March issue of DS News.

“Whether you call them Opp-Zones, OZones, or OZos, the investment flood is coming to a low-income census tract near you,” said Tassell.

“While digesting the rules, it would be a good idea to find out where those areas are near you and prepare for investments and options for investments there—before the December 31, 2026 deadline,” Tassell added. “The summary of benefits includes deferred taxes on the investment in an opportunity zone, deferred taxes on income reinvested in opportunity zones, and tax forgiveness on improvements in the value of the building at sale time in opportunity zones—if it is held for 10 years.”

A recent report found that opportunity zones are already seeing gains. According to an analysis by Zillow, these areas have seen a surge in sale prices since they received the designation as investors, keen to receive a discount on capital gains taxes for investing within these areas, flock to these opportunity zones.

According to Zillow, sale prices in all eligible areas "grew faster than prices in places that weren't, but after opportunity zones were selected, price-growth trends diverged among eligible tracts."

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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