Written by Lennox Jackson
Learn about Opportunity Zones and how they can be used as a tool to spur economic development.
In a Nutshell
On Dec. 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new section of the Tax Code that provides tax incentives for investments in targeted low-income areas in the United States through investment vehicles called Opportunity Funds. (Click here for the Urban Equities Opportunity Zone Guide). The purpose of Opportunity Funds is to promote economic development in these select communities known as Opportunity Zones (OZ) by offering investors substantial federal tax advantages that are only available through the new program. Yes, from now until 2026, the ultra-wealthy can either defer, reduce or eliminate tax liability on their capital gains, effectively making them wealthier. Good for them, right?
Expanding the Winner Circle
When putting aside partisan politics and the occasionally inflamed commentaries that are sometimes associated with the OZ program, the Urban Equities team sees abundant opportunities that are here NOW. Similar to what will happen in other U.S. cities, we envision Chicago’s low-income census tract neighborhoods will enjoy many benefits, including the following:
- Chicago’s under-invested or emerging markets, particularly in low-income census tracts are poised to see an infusion of investment capital … access to its share of what is said to be over $6.1 trillion in capital gains now sitting in the coffers of the rich and famous. Stalled or tough-to-do real estate deals now have another funding source that can be tapped. Residential rental and commercial projects in neighborhoods such as Englewood, South Shore, Woodlawn, Austin, etc., can get started. As Paula Robinson, president of the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership, says: ”Money gets up everyday looking for a deal.”
- Jobs. Jobs. No more excuses. If done right, OZ deals can and will create jobs, both full-time opportunities and short-term construction trade jobs. We see the needle moving for entire supply chains, particularly those related to professional services and construction.
- Black Business Development Impact… The OZ program is designed to pull new investment capital through to the local level. Urban Equities sees OZ projects moving the needle in a meaningful way to create and strengthen black business development.
OZ Goals: Triple Bottom Line
While leveraging our 25-year history and leadership, we will drive execution of the following deliverables:
Our Opportunity Zone Investment Fund
Through Urban Equities’ OZ Investment Fund, we will execute a portfolio of work that delivers IRS-compliant projects yielding attractive returns and advancing high-quality social impact objectives.
For more information about Urban Equities’ Opportunity Zone Investment Fund, contact Lennox Jackson at 773/955.0812, or email at Lennox.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lennox Jackson is Founder/CEO of Urban Equities, Inc. and a contributing editor for the Bulletin Board. During his time away from work, Lennox enjoys quick drives to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin or boarding an airplane to some destination far from Chicago. In addition, he practices yoga and likes attending panel discussions, watching movies, dancing, and finding the right spot for people-watching on a nice-weather day.
Connect with Lennox Jackson.