The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included the creation of Opportunity Zones, a new tax incentive aimed at increasing private investment in low-income census tracts. Investors in these zones receive preferential tax treatment when they invest in a newly created “Opportunity Fund.”
In March 2018 Governor Phil Scott designated 25 census tracts in 17 Vermont communities as Opportunity Zones (click here to view map).
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development is working with these communities to take full advantage of the Opportunity Zones program.
In October of 2018, the Internal Revenue Service issued a draft rule concerning the Opportunity Zones program, a revised revenue regulation, and a new draft tax form for creating an Opportunity Fund.
Opportunity Zones Programming
The Agency held an Opportunity Zones Summit in June 2018 to educate communities, investors, and potential project champions about the program.
In June 2019, the Agency convened representatives of each Opportunity Zone in Vermont for a workshop to develop project prospectuses.
In September 2019, Vermont communities participated in Workshop #2, which featured representatives from national organizations—including Larry Jackson, Program Advisor to the Assistant Secretary, Office of Community Planning and Development in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development—to better understand how Opportunity Zone projects can be supported by a variety of federal and nonprofit organizations.
The Agency is currently planning a third event designed to connect municipalities and their projects with potential investors.
Additional resources concerning the designation of Opportunity Zones can be found below.