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Opportunity Zone incentives yield mixed results

June 25, 2020

A new report by the Urban Institute indicates that the Opportunity Zone (OZ) tax incentive program has had varied success throughout the country. An Early Assessment of Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development Projects assesses the effects that OZs have had within low-income communities while also reviewing the types of developments that have benefited most from the incentive. An over-arching finding in the report is that it has been difficult for mission-oriented and community-driven projects to access capital, as investors have instead focused on funding projects that can produce larger, short-term returns, including luxury real estate properties. The authors suggest that policymakers could redesign the program to better incentivize investments that target innovative small business opportunities and equitable community-focused projects.

opportunity zones