This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program looks at opportunity zones. Mike, there are many areas around the country – including in North Carolina – that have not shared in the economic growth of recent years. Indeed, many of these areas have struggled for decades. Now I understand there is a new national program that hopes to change this. What is it?
- It’s called opportunity zones
- Idea is to provide tax benefits to investors putting money into designated under-performing areas
- Part of the 2017 tax act
- For example, if an investment in an opportunity zone is held for more than a decade, all capital-gains taxes (essentially taxes on profits) are avoided
- Idea has been tried before – difference this time is the scope (12% of census tracts quality, home to 35 million people) and lack of a lot of red tape
- However, already some concerns that too many areas are included, rather than focusing on the most needy
- So far, investors seem to be interested – will need to look at the payoff
And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.