The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains a new tax incentive for investments in low-income census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones.

Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. Private investment vehicles that place 90 percent or more of their funds into an Opportunity Zone can earn tax relief on the capital gains generated through those investments. Tax benefits increase the longer investments are in place.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides a unique opportunity for Governors across the country to nominate certain eligible census tracts as Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones are low-income census tracts where the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and/or family income is less than 80 percent of the area’s median income.

Each state may nominate a minimum of 25 total eligible census tracts but no more than 25% of the total number of eligible census tracts within the state. When finalized, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will approve the nominated census tracts and administer the Opportunity Zone Program. Below are the Idaho tracts submitted for nomination:

Applicant Name  County Census Tract Type
City of Boise Ada 16001002000 LIC
Meridian Ada 16001010321 LIC
New Meadows Adams 16003950100 CONTIGUOUS
Pocatello Bannock 16005001601 LIC
Benewah County Benewah 16009950100 LIC
Bonner County Bonner 16017950300 LIC
Boundary County Boundary 16021970200 LIC
Canyon County Canyon 16027022200 LIC
Nampa Canyon 16027020200 LIC
Canyon County Canyon 16027022100 LIC
Clearwater County Clearwater 16035970100 LIC
Nez Perce Tribe Clearwater 16035940000 CONTIGUOUS
Mountain Home Elmore 16039960300 LIC
Gooding Gooding 16047960100 LIC
Kooskia Idaho 16049940000 LIC
Riggins Idaho 16049960400 LIC
Jerome Jerome 16053970400 LIC
Post Falls Kootenai 16055000602 LIC
Moscow Latah 16057005400 LIC
Moscow Latah 16057005100 LIC
Kamiah Lewis 16061940001 LIC
Rupert Minidoka 16067970500 LIC
Lewiston Nez Perce 16069960300 LIC
Payette Payette 16075960200 LIC
Shoshone County Shoshone 16079960300 LIC
Buhl Twin Falls 16083000400 LIC
Twin Falls Twin Falls 16083001100 LIC
Valley County Valley 16085970300 LIC

On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Idaho Commerce, in partnership with Craig Nolte from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, hosted an Opportunity Zones Forum. The forum discussed the Opportunity Zones Program and the Opportunity Zones located throughout Idaho. Additionally, participants discussed the investment process, shared views on Idaho’s designated Opportunity Zones, discussed potential investment opportunities, and heard perspectives from local leaders.

Handouts from the event can be downloaded here and here.

For more information from the official U.S. Federal Government Opportunity Zone map, click here.

DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Department of the Treasury has not completed its rulemaking on the Opportunity Zone program. At this time the Department of Commerce is collecting applications for qualifying census zone tracts to be designated an Opportunity Zone. Selection criteria will be determined upon publication the U.S. Department of Treasury rules. All communications, maps and applications provided by the Idaho Department of Commerce are for planning purposes only and may be subject to change based upon the Department of the Treasury’s final rule.