What are Opportunity Zones?
Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, they are designed to encourage long-term private investments in low-income communities. This program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into "Opportunity Funds," which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in low-income areas called "Opportunity Zones."
The zones themselves are to be comprised of low-income community census tracts and designated by governors in every state. South Carolina designated 25 percent of qualifying census tracts as an Opportunity Zone. Qualifying Zones are based on the 2011-2015 American Community Survey.
Opportunity Zone Grant Fund
The South Carolina Department of Commerce has established The Opportunity Zone Grant Fund under which South Carolina governmental entities (counties and/or municipalities) may request funding to offset the costs of obtaining an outside vendor to assist in the structuring of a competitive Opportunity Zone Prospectus. The program also allows the third party vendor to assist the governmental entity in determining the best project to pursue.
Should any South Carolina governmental entity have an interest in applying for funding assistance, they must complete the application in full and attach a copy of the proposal from the vendor that the entity would like to employ. It is the responsibility of the applicant to follow their individual procurement process.
Total Tracts in SC:
Eligible, Low-Income Community Tracts:
was allowed to select
25% of 538
Maximum number of SC tracts approved:
Low-income Community tracts approved:
Of the 135 tracts, number of eligible Contiguous Tracts approved:
Number of tracts approved that are within a five mile radius of the boundary of a Census Designated Place with a 2015 population of greater than or equal to 5,000 persons:
Number of tracts approved that are in a Metropolitan Area as Designated by the Office of Management and Budget in their 2017 update:
Number of tracts approved that have their centroid within the boundary of a Census Designated Place greater than or equal to 5,000 persons:
- Promoting economic vitality parts of the state that have not shared in the general prosperity over the past few years
- Funding the development of workforce and affordable housing in areas with escalating prices and inventory shortages
- Funding new infrastructure to support population and economic growth
- Investing in startup businesses who have potential for rapid increases in scale
- Upgrading the capability of existing underutilized assets through capital improvement investments
How to Use this Map
This is an interactive map.
Mapping and data tools are available to aid in identifying census tracts for Opportunity Zones - click on a tract below to find more.
Highlighted tracts were approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
*This address locator is provided as a service to help potential investors determine the likelihood that a particular address falls within an Opportunity Zone. It is not meant to provide a definitive judgement on the qualification of a particular address and should not be used as such. It is advised that all prospective participants in the Opportunity Zone program consult the County of record for a more detailed analysis of the parcel in question as well as evaluate the regulations put forth by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
What are the incentives that
encourage long-term investment in low-income communities?
The Opportunity Zones program offers investors the following incentives for putting their capital to work in low-income communities:
- Investors can roll existing capital gains into Opportunity Funds with no up-front tax bill.
- A 5 year holding increases the rolled-over capital gains basis by 10%
- A 7 year holding increases the rolled-over capital gain investment basis 5% for a total of 15%
- Investors can defer their original tax bill until December 31, 2026 at the latest, or until they sell their Opportunity Fund investments, if earlier.
- Opportunity fund investments held in the fund for at least 10 years are not taxed for capital gains.
- Read the recently released Proposed Opportunity Zones Regulations to learn the parameters of the program, including what gains qualify for deferral, which taxpayers and investments are eligible and other guidance.
White House Opportunity Zones Conference - April 2019
On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, more than 170 people from across the nation attended the White House Opportunity Zones Conference with state, local, tribal and community leaders. South Carolina was represented by Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Jennifer Fletcher.
Below you will find conference information, including fact sheets, guidance remarks, videos and additional resources.
Opportunity Zones Fact Sheet - (view here)
- Encouraging Investment: Opportunity Zones will spur private-sector investment to revitalize hurting communities and unleash their economic potential
- Lifting Up Communities: Opportunity Zones help drive economic growth and lift up communities that have been left behind
- Creating Opportunity For All: President Donald J. Trump is encouraging investment to create opportunity in distressed communities
Geographic Inequality Fact Sheet - President Donald J. Trump is Addressing Geographic Inequality by Promoting Investment in Opportunity Zones (here)
White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council (WHORC) Implementation Plan - The WHORC Implementation Plan can be found here
- Economic Development: Leverage Federal grants and loans in a more integrated way to develop dilapidated properties and provide basic infrastructure and financial tools to attract private investment
- Entrepreneurship: Leverage government lending and grants to stimulate access to private capital and promote programs that assist entrepreneurs
- Safe Neighborhoods: Combat drug addiction and the opioid crisis, reduce crime, enhance public safety, and address environmental contamination obstacles to development
- Education and Workforce Development: Improve the efficacy of K-12 and community college career and technical education and workforce development programs to better prepare workers in distressed communities for jobs
- Measurement: Develop robust reporting and analytics to measure the impact of Opportunity Zones
Watch the Conference Video - You can watch the full plenary session from Wednesday's conference (2 hours, 6 minutes) here.
Federal Government Resources:
U.S. Department of the Treasury Releases Proposed Regulations on Opportunity Zones Designed to Incentivize Investment in American Communities
*The proposed regulations should provide investors and fund sponsors the information they need to confidently enter into new business arrangements in designated Opportunity Zones. The Treasury Department plans on issuing additional guidance before the end of the year.
U.S. Department of the Treasury: Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) Opportunity Zones Resources
*Treasury has issued a technical correction (2/28/18) to the data from the February 8, 2018 release to reflect a more inclusive census tract contiguity analysis and correct some errors in the original file.
- IRS Revenue Procedure - PDF
- U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release - Treasury Issues Second Set of Highly Anticipated Opportunity Zones Guidance (here)
- U.S. Department of Treasury Guidance - The full guidance can be found here
- WHORC Completed Action - List of programs where the Council is bringing more resources to Opportunity Zones (here)
- HUD Request for Information - U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Announces Request For Information on Maximizing the Positive Impact of Opportunity Zones (here)
- Powering the American Dream - You can learn more about leveraging federal resources for Opportunity Zones from the U.S. Small Business Administration at SBA.gov. This includes information on funding, federal contracting opportunities and other local assistance for small businesses looking to start and grow in your community.
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