New York State is participating in the new Opportunity Zone community development program, offered through the Tax Cuts and Job Acts of 2017. An Opportunity Zone is a low-income census tract with an individual poverty rate of at least 20 percent and median family income no greater than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). The program provides three types of tax incentives for investors: temporary deferral, step-up in basis, and permanent exclusion. All types reduce or defer the amount of taxes investors must pay for their capital gains.
Opportunity Funds provide investors the chance to put that money to work rebuilding the low- to moderate-income communities. The fund model will enable a broad array of investors to pool their resources in Opportunity Zones, increasing the scale of investments going to underserved areas. The 514 recommended Census tracts in New York State – which represent 25 percent of the more than 2,000 tracts deemed eligible by the Federal government – were selected based on recommendations from the Regional Economic Development Councils, local input, prior public investment and the ability to attract private investment.