OPPORTUNITY ZONES - Feb. 22, 2019 - Roundtable Weekly

Vice President Pence Promotes Opportunity Zones Program; Wall Street Investors Focus on Opportunity Funds  

Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) promoted the new Opportunity Zones (OZ) program in South Carolina yesterday as an example of how economically distressed areas can be redeveloped to benefit lower-income communities.  (WCBD video, Feb. 21)

  Sen_ Tim Scott x200 SOI 2019 hands

Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), above, promoted the new Opportunity Zones (OZ) program in South Carolina yesterday as an example of how economically distressed areas can be redeveloped to benefit lower-income communities.  (WCBD video, Feb. 21)

  • "The truth is, Opportunity Zones help address unique needs by forming partnerships between the federal government with regard to tax benefits, state and local leaders, and local investors to create that incentive that makes it even more possible for people to invest at the point of the need," Pence said.  (Pence Remarks, Feb. 21)

  • Vice President Pence added, "As President Trump said just a few months ago, when he established what came to be known as the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council – which is going to be coordinating efforts and identifying Opportunity Zones all across the country – as the President said, and I quote, 'No citizen will be forgotten, no community will be ignored…no American will be left on the sidelines.' "

  • Sen. Scott – who led the effort in Congress for enactment of the Opportunity Zones program – discussed OZ goals and incentives on Jan. 29 in a discussion with Roundtable member Geordy Johnson (CEO, Johnson Development Associates, Inc.) during The Roundtable's State of the Industry Meeting (Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 15)

  • Wall Street's interest in OZs was profiled this week in the New York Times, which reported more than 80 opportunity funds have been established since January 2018 – and that the program "has unleashed a flurry of investment activity by wealthy families, some of Wall Street's biggest investors and other investors."  (New York Times, Feb. 20)

  • The article also notes that "The National Council of State Housing Agencies, which is tracking opportunity-zone funds, found that money managers and nonprofits had so far sought to raise over $18 billion." 

A recent IRS hearing focused on how OZ regulatory guidance may affect long-term investments in certain low-income communities. The Treasury Department is expected to release its second set of OZ regulations in the coming weeks.  Another public hearing will follow before rules for the program are finalized.  (Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 15)

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