Opportunity Zones provide federal tax relief for certain investments made within three census tracts in Bend.
The Opportunity Zone is a federal tax incentive allowing for the reinvestment of capital gains income in certain census tracts. Bend has three eligible tracts, all located in the center of town. Once federal rulemaking is completed, certain investments in these areas will be eligible for preferential federal tax treatment when it comes to the private investment of capital gains in local businesses and land development opportunities.
Since the Opportunity Zone program was approved in late 2017, investment rules and guidelines have been under development by the US Department of the Treasury. More complete information is expected near the end of 2018.
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The Opportunity Zones program was included in the federal tax bill passed at the end of 2017. These zones seek to generate new private investment in low income neighborhoods via Opportunity Funds that aggregate unrealized capital gains into tax-deferred investment vehicles.
In early 2018 State governors had the ability to nominate up to 25 percent of their Low Income Census Tracts for inclusion as Opportunity Zones. Once designated, zones will remain in place for 10 years. Bend, Oregon is home to three qualifying tracts that satisfied federal criteria for Opportunity Zone designation: they’re low income communities, have a total employment of at least 1,500, host more than 200 small businesses, are in a growing county, and contain at least some portion of an existing Enterprise Zone.
In March of 2018 all three of Bend’s eligible census tracts were nominated for Opportunity Zone designation by Governor Kate Brown. These tracts, roughly cover the Historic District/Korpine area south to Reed Market, Downtown and the Bend Central District, and East of 97 in the Larkspur Neighborhood.
While rulemaking is ongoing, the following links provide more information on how Opportunity Zone investments work, potential tax implications, and where other eligible tracts are located:
Opportunity Zones Frequently Asked Questions from the IRS
Opportunity Zones Resources from the U.S. Department of the Treasury
“Opportunity Zones: A New Incentive for Investing in Low-Income Communities” from the Economic Innovation Group
Where are Bend's Opportunity Zones?
See the map below for a look at the three census tracts in Bend that received Opportunity Zone designations. For a downloadable version of the Opportunity Zone map, click here.