Brookings, April 18, 2018: The early results of states’ Opportunity Zones are promising, but there’s still room for improvement
Eighteen states have submitted their selections of local neighborhoods that will qualify as “Opportunity Zones” under a new tax incentive created by Congress in last year’s tax bill. These selections—and the characteristics of the neighborhoods themselves—will be important determinants of the ultimate success of the program. As I wrote in February just before the state selections were due, poor choices by states could turn a program meant to benefit residents of poor neighborhoods into a tax break for developers investing in already-gentrifying areas. With information in hand from 18 states, I describe the characteristics of neighborhoods that have been selected so far. (That information is also available in this file (.xls) for the remaining 32 states who have yet to select their Opportunity Zones).