By RCAC communications

The Opportunity Zones program was established by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act to spur long-term private sector investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. The program is based on the bipartisan Investing in Opportunity Act.  It establishes a mechanism that enables investors with capital gains tax liabilities across the country to receive favorable tax treatment for investing in Opportunity Funds that are certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Opportunity Funds use the capital invested to make equity investments in businesses and real estate in Opportunity Zones designated by each state.

After a two week public comment period, California Governor Jerry Brown recommended 879 census tracts. According to the California Department of Finance, the recommendations include:

  • Tracts selected have a median household income below $100,000
  • Defer to local control and decision making
  • Select tracts that overlap with existing programs, such as disadvantaged communities under Cap and Trade
  • Add tracts when feasible
  • Distribute designations to include 57 of the state’s 58 counties.

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