Opportunity Zones

What are Opportunity Zones?

Established by H.R.1 – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zones program encourages qualified investors to engage in long-term investments in low-income communities throughout the country. Designed to spur investment in communities and further economic development, the Opportunity Zones program provides tax incentives for qualified investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds.

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 including:

  • Temporary tax deferral for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund;
  • Step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund; and 
  • Permanent exclusion from taxable income of long-term capital gains.

Federal certification of the state’s Opportunity Zones was published on May 18, 2018. The NC Opportunity Zones Program is designed to encourage job creation, economic activity, housing and other community investments throughout North Carolina. More information on the program can be on the NC Department of Commerce's website.

North Carolina Opportunity Zones Program

North Carolina offers 252 Opportunity Zones in every corner of the state for consideration by investors. The 252 tracts represent:

  • A total population over 1.1 million people
  • Nearly 45,000 families with children in poverty
  • Over 50,000 business establishments
  • Over $580 million in received public and private investments over the past 5 years

The NC Department of Commerce has provided a state-wide mapping tool with additional information regarding the process of zone nomination and designation.

 The list of North Carolina Opportunity Zones can be downloaded here. 

Opportunity Zones in the Triangle

Of North Carolina's 252 Opportunity Zones, there are 30 Opportunity Zones designated in the Triangle region.

Enterprise Community Partners' Opportunity360 team created the Opportunity Zone Explorer online tool to help those interested in opportunity zones to determine which tracts in their state or region have been designated and how they relate to other federal programs and designations.

Additional Resources

NC Commerce Opportunity Zones Program

IRS Press Release on the Opportunity Zones Program Rules

IRS Opportunity Zones: Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. Department of Treasury - CDFI Fund Opportunity Zones Resource Sheet

Economic Innovation Group: Opportunity Zones

Economic Innovation Group: Opportunity Zones Factsheet

Second Set of Proposed Regulations

Please contact us if you have a question about Opportunity Zones in your community or how TJCOG staff can help you.


Alana Keegan
Member Engagement Manager