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Economist Mike Walden: Opportunity Zones

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?

  1. It’s called opportunity zones
  2. Idea is to provide tax benefits to investors putting money into designated under-performing areas
  3. Part of the 2017 tax act
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. However, already some concerns that too many areas are included, rather than focusing on the most needy
  7. 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.