Opportunity Zones provide major capital gains tax relief for housing and commercial developments, giving the Los Angeles Area a tremendously useful incentive to lift economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with new projects and much needed housing. The incentive’s highest tax benefit will be reduced after Dec 31, 2019, so this is the time to look hard at the incentive and consider utilizing it.
LAEDC is working with its partners and interested investors, developers and community leaders to facilitate these investments, and LAEDC is hosting tours of sites in areas designated as Opportunity Zones, including in various neighborhoods. By bringing together community advocates familiar with the strengths of the neighborhoods, with investors and development companies to look at underutilized sites, LAEDC is actively facilitating projects that include much needed community benefits.
LAEDC’s Propel L.A. team has already conducted an initial tour with County of Los Angeles, METRO and other government entities to determine strategies for utilizing this new incentive to further economic development priorities for the region. More such tours are possible, depending on interest of philanthropic foundations, partners and other stakeholders. Please contact Collette.Hanna@laedc.org for details.
Created in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the purpose of the federal government's QOZ program is to drive economic growth through long-term investments in economically disadvantaged communities. Designated as "Opportunity Zones," these areas present opportunities for real estate investment and development by offering tax incentives to investors.
"With the Opportunity Zone initiative poised to transform American communities that have long been shunned by investors, NAR has developed resources to help facilitate and expedite investments in these areas. As our work continues, Realtors® are committed to ensuring Americans can take full advantage of this valuable new initiative," said Joseph Ventrone, NAR Vice President, Federal Policy and Industry Relations.
Through RPR, Realtors® will search a geographic area and choose to display the Opportunity Zones layer, which will then reveal shaded areas that qualify. Realtors® can then analyze all properties that fall in the Opportunity Zone, review economic and demographic statistics for the area and create reports for investors regarding buying potential. They will also be able to reach out to residents and business owners in the area about selling advantages through RPR's recently launched Mailing Labels feature.
"These Opportunity Zones encourage private investment in low-income communities, with the intent of stimulating economic growth and job creation," said Bob Turner, NAR's 2019 Commercial Liaison and RPR Advisory Council Member. "Residential practitioners will notice homes that fall within Opportunity Zones gain a boost to their marketability because of increased attention, while Commercial practitioners will likely see properties once being skipped over turn into desirable investment opportunities."
Under the program, taxpayers who reinvest capital gains from a previous sale into a fund for investing, which are known as "Opportunity Funds," are eligible to defer paying taxes on those gains and can potentially reduce their tax liability by 10-15% (based on the amount of time they hold the investment). Additionally, if the investment is held for at least ten years, any appreciation is tax-free.
"I'm very excited to see RPR offer Realtors® another tool to help us serve our clients," said Deena Zimmerman, Vice President of SVN in Chicago, IL. "The benefits of Opportunity Zones are broad, and with the tax benefits on the table for investors, we should see increased attention to properties in these areas."
The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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