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What are Opportunity Zones and How Do They Work?

Opportunity zones are perhaps the most exciting thing related to civil engineering to come out of the major federal tax cuts and jobs legislation passed in 2017. Their purpose is to foster long-term investment in economically distressed communities in Denver and across the country. These efforts are supported through Opportunity Funds, a way of encouraging private investment in exchange for tax incentives on capital gains.

What are Opportunity Funds?

Opportunity Funds are privately established and managed funds for the exclusive purpose of economic revitalization of distressed communities that meet certain qualifications, including being identified as Opportunity Zones. There is no limit on the amount of money that can be invested by these funds, and therefore no limit to the potential benefit for the communities they’re intended to benefit. Economic revitalization incorporates the activities of many sectors of a community, including banking, a href=””>civil engineering, construction, and legal, as businesses and housing projects get off the ground.

What are Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity Zones are federal census-designated areas that meet a certain definition of economic distress. This label can apply to communities across all states and the cities, towns, and villages within them, including Denver. The labeling process begins with areas designated and nominated by the governor of the state. According to the legislation, up to one-quarter of economically distressed communities can be labeled Opportunity Zones, subject to income limits. Governors of states with less than 100 census tracts can choose up to 25 of them to be considered as Opportunity Zones. A community that’s marked an Opportunity Zone can hold that designation for ten years. These areas are primed and ready for developers, working with a href=””>civil engineering firm, banks, construction trades, and others, to start new and exciting projects.

Why should I invest in an Opportunity Zone?

Those who invest in Opportunity Zones receive capital gain tax incentives. The goal is to spur an infusion of private money instead of public money to support and develop communities that otherwise might be overlooked for a variety of reasons. Capital gains that get invested in opportunity zones are tax-deferred. Gains on long-term investments of at least ten years may be tax free (with certain limitations).

Contact a Civil Engineering Firm Today

The goal of Opportunity Funds and Opportunity Zones is to balance the speed at which economic development can proceed with an ongoing commitment to improvement efforts. Contact CenterPoint Integrated Solutions today to work with a civil engineering firm that is knowledgeable about the program and how it works. CenterPoint Integrated Solutions is well-positioned to help Denver investors make the most of this program.

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