|Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) formally designated Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ) in 15 states and three U.S. territories. QOZs are census tracts nominated by state and territorial governors and the mayor of the District Of Columbia to take part in the Opportunity Zones program established by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is intended to spur investment in distressed communities. The Opportunity Zones program allows taxpayers specialized tax treatment, including deferred capital gains, for investments in Opportunity Funds, which must in turn invest at least 90 percent of their assets in businesses located in QOZs.
States had until March 21 to either nominate census tracts as QOZs for Treasury’s designation or request an extension to that deadline. In its action, the Treasury has officially designated the QOZs for all states/territories that submitted nominations by the March 21 deadline, as follows: American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin.