The U.S. Department of Treasury has officially certified Governor Jeff Colyer’s nomination of 74 census tracts to be designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones and has designated those tracts as such. The approved Opportunity Zones, a new economic development tool enacted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, will offer local citizens the opportunity to invest back into their communities and proactively be a part of the solution to problems such as population decline, lack of jobs, and crumbling infrastructure.
For the investor, the Opportunity Zone program offers tax incentives to citizens who re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds dedicated to investing in designated census tracts. The program provides deferral and reduction of capital gains taxes when the gain is invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and maintained for at least five years. Additional tax incentives are available for investments held for periods of seven and 10 years. The Internal Revenue Service is expected to issue guidance on Opportunity Funds this summer.
The specific census tracts and their counties designated by the U.S. Treasury as Opportunity Zones are:
In February, the Kansas Department of Commerce announced it would begin accepting Letters of Interest from communities to have their eligible low-income census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones. Following the review of submissions, Governor Colyer determined that each community who submitted an eligible census tract would be nominated for at least one Opportunity Zone designation. After a thorough review process involving multiple state government agencies, Governor Colyer submitted the 74 census tracts to the U.S. Department of Treasury for consideration on April 18.
Additional information about the Opportunity Zone program may be found at http://kansascommerce.gov/opportunityzones.