As part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Qualified Opportunity Zones (“QOZ”) program was enacted to encourage economic growth in under-served communities through tax incentives for investors. The program presents opportunities for real estate investment and development in those communities. RLI Member and land expert Matt Davis stated in his article Where are the Opportunities in Opportunity Zones? for the upcoming Summer 2019 Terra Firma Magazine, “The mechanism provides reductions in capital gains tax liability for investors who make long-term investments into census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones. The zones will likely favor shovel-ready development projects, as well as capital intensive renovations of assets under certain conditions.” He also mentioned “The second round of proposed regulations has removed much of the uncertainty from the program and we should start to see increased transaction activity as a result. The most recent round of guidance is generally viewed as being favorable to the taxpayer, which should increase confidence that the ultimate implementation of this program will not be unnecessarily punitive. However, as is the case with any regulation of this scale and impact, there are likely to be changes and growing pains as the final details are worked out and ultimately approved.”
RLI’s 2016 National President Bob Turner, ALC, attended the White House Opportunity Zone Conference on April 17 in Washington, DC. Turner is considered the REALTOR® expert on the topic. The event consisted of remarks from administration officials and working sessions focused on best practices and guidelines. On May 15, Bob also addressed the NAR Commercial Federal Policy Committee on Qualified Opportunity Zones and was invited to the stage by President Donald Trump to speak on the topic (see video below) during the REALTOR® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.