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 investment within a designated Opportunity Zone may earn tax relief on the capital gains generated through those investments. Tax benefits increase the longer investments are in place.

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 are eligible for consideration.

Each state may nominate a minimum of 25 total eligible census tracts but no more than 25% of the total number of eligible census tracts within the state. The U.S. Department of Treasury will approve the nominated census tracts and administer the Opportunity Zone Program.

States must submit Opportunity Zone applications to the United States Department of Treasury no later than March 21, 2018. Application review by the state began on March 5, 2018, and applications will be accepted through close of business on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

For more information regarding the Opportunity Zone program and to see if your community qualifies, click here. For more information, or if you have questions regarding the program, please email opportunityzone@mississippi.org.

Applications will be verified to ensure they are for eligible low-income census tracts. Tracts also will be evaluated based on factors such as population, population change, per capita income, availability of potential sites for industrial development, and proximity to institutions of higher learning, in addition to regional distribution.  

See if your community qualifies for nomination: