Arizona’s Opportunity Zone nominations approved

Business News | 16 Apr |

Governor Doug Ducey announced that the State of Arizona submitted its nominations for Opportunity Zones to the U.S. Department of the Treasury on the March 21 deadline. On April 9, 2018, Arizona’s Opportunity Zone nominations were approved by the U.S. Treasury Department, making Arizona one of the first states in the nation to have its zones officially designated.

The federal Opportunity Zones program allows each state’s governor to nominate up to 25 percent of the qualifying low-income Census tracts as Opportunity Zones. It was created under a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law December of 2017.

“We applaud this federal initiative to stimulate economic development in low-income areas,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Ensuring opportunity for all Arizonans has been a focus of my administration. Arizona’s economy is thriving, and we are excited to see how Opportunity Zones will build on our effort.”

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) was tasked with first identifying Arizona’s qualifying Census tracts, and then working with city, county and tribal governments to determine which of those tracts had the most potential for development projects that would benefit the community.

The resulting 168 Census tract nominations represent every county in Arizona – rural, tribal and urban areas covering the entire state. Forty two percent of the nominated tracts represent rural areas. Each is well-positioned for development in manufacturing, distribution and warehousing, technology and innovation, medical facilities and housing.

“The ACA worked closely with civic leaders throughout Arizona to guide them on the program qualifications and gather their recommendations on which tracts they would like nominated as Opportunity Zones,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We thank our partners in the communities for their collaborative efforts and look forward to the response from the Treasury Department.”

Investors who reinvest capital gains monies in Opportunity Zone funds will receive reductions on capital gains taxes relative to the years of their investment.

The State of Arizona does not have a role in determining what investments qualify, how investments are made, or what projects receive investment. The Treasury Department will work with investors and businesses on qualifying investments.

Click here to view the Arizona Census Tracts that were nominated for designation as Opportunity Zones.

The federal Opportunity Zones program allows each state’s governor to nominate up to 25 percent of the qualifying low-income Census tracts as Opportunity Zones. It was created under a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law December of 2017. Investors who reinvest capital gains monies in Opportunity Zone funds will receive reductions on capital gains taxes relative to the years of their investment:

Investments held 10 years: taxable amount of the capital gains reinvested is reduced by 15% and no tax is owed on appreciation. For example: $100 of capital gains is reinvested into an Opportunity Zone fund and held for 10 years. Tax owed on the original $100 is deferred until 2026, and taxable amount is reduced to $85 ($100 minus $15). Investor will owe $20 of tax on the original capital gains (23.8% of $85). No tax is owed on Opportunity Zone investment’s capital gain. Assuming a 7% annual growth rate, the after-tax value of the original $100 investment is $176 by 2028.

Investments held 7 years: taxable amount of the capital gains reinvested is reduced by 15%. For example: $100 of capital gains is reinvested into an Opportunity Zone fund and held for 7 years, selling in 2025. Taxable amount is reduced to $85 ($100 minus $15). Investor will owe $20 of tax on the original capital gains (23.8% of $85). Assuming a 7% annual growth rate, the investor will owe $15 in tax (23.8% of $61) on the Opportunity Zone investment’s capital gain.

Investments held 5 years: taxable amount of the capital gains reinvested is reduced by 10%. For example: $100 of capital gains is reinvested into an Opportunity Zone fund and held for 5 years, selling in 2023. Taxable amount is reduced to $90 ($100 minus $10). Investor will owe $21 in tax on the original capital gains (23.8% of $90). Assuming a 7% annual growth rate, the investor will owe $10 in tax (23.8% of $40) on the Opportunity Zone investment’s capital gain.

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