A program with the potential to attract investment capital into low-income areas of North Carolina was created by recently passed federal tax legislation, known as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1). North Carolina Opportunity Zones will offer qualified investors certain tax benefits when they invest unrealized capital gains into these areas.  North Carolina’s 252 zones were certified by the United States Treasury on May 18, 2018.

The federal law allows each state to designate up to 25 percent of its total low-income census tracts as zone candidates. North Carolina has just over 1,000 of these tracts, so only 252 census tracts could be selected as Opportunity Zones.

Guided by data and driven by local priorities, North Carolina’s process to identify these tracts, coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, included an extensive review of census data, public input collected from the Department’s website and direct outreach, and close collaboration with local officials from across the state.

Additional Details

  • H.R. 1 (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) was signed into law on December 22, 2017.
  • The Opportunity Zones Program (Sec. 13823) provides tax incentives for qualified investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into low-income communities throughout the state, and across the country. Low-income census tracks are areas where the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and/or family income is less than 80% of the area’s median income.
  • Investments made by qualified entities known as Opportunity Funds into certified Opportunity Zones will receive three key federal tax incentives to encourage investment in low-income communities.
  • Opportunity Zones Best Practices Report to the President from the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, published May 2020, click here.

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For further information contact David Rhoades, Communications Director, N.C. Commerce at (919) 814-461.