The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established Opportunity Zones as a new community development program aimed to encourage long term investments in low-income and rural communities.

Private investors can earn tax relief through investments made in qualified Opportunity Funds. In turn, Qualified Opportunity Funds must be invested in designated Opportunity Zones. Low-income communities, defined as census tracts with a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater and/or family income less than 80 percent of the area’s median income, were eligible for consideration as Opportunity Zones. Each state could nominate up to 25 percent of the total number of eligible low-income community census tracts within the state.

The U.S. Department of Treasury approves the nominated census tracts and administers the Opportunity Zone Program. States were required to submit Opportunity Zone applications to the U.S. Department of Treasury no later than March 21, 2018. Mississippi accepted and reviewed applications for tracts to receive consideration. Governor Phil Bryant submitted his nominations to the U.S. Department of Treasury on March 19, 2018.

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced on April 9, 2018, the designation of 100 tracts in Mississippi as Opportunity Zones. To see a list of designated Opportunity click here. To see a map of the designated Opportunity Zones in Mississippi, click here.

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS plan to issue additional information regarding Opportunity Zones in the coming months. If you have questions regarding the Opportunity Zone Program, please email opportunityzone@mississippi.org.

See if your community is a qualified Opportunity Zone: