News & Updates

Opportunity Zones Policy News

In this section, we're compiling policy highlights related to the Opportunity Zone program. This page will evolve as we develop a timeline of key milestones particularly relevant to the philanthropic community. Visit the Opportunity Zone (OZ) Resource Library for more information on the program.

Opportunity Zones: Moving Toward a Shared Impact Framework

On July 19, 2008, the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, the Beeck Center, the New York Fed, Case Foundation, Sorenson Impact Center, and several community development investors, researchers, and practitioners came together to discuss the future of Opportunity Zones. From that discussion emerged key policy recommendations and ideas, synthesized in a blog published in August.  We have summarized key points below.
Key Observations
  • Understanding Opportunity and Needs in Communities: Combine metrics that capture performance over time and across dimensions, creating detailed, data-driven profiles for each low-income community, and a clear commitment to engage communities directly, offering space for them to drive their neighborhoods' futures. Inclusive practices are not written into legislation, thus asking local leaders and private actors to step in.
  • Establishing Evidence of Outcomes and Platforms to Aggregate and Share It: Data (annually, over time, and transparently available) on investments is necessary to help assess impact and align with other community development programs. Participants discussed various considerations when developing tools, including data from investors and investees. Community voices can frame data with real experiences.
  • Maintaining Flexibility for Investors and Investees: Impact reporting should track against goals, while allowing investors and investees to adapt in response to need. It should also not create unnecessary reporting burdens for fund managers, particularly those driven by mission.
  • Commit to Ongoing Learning: Participants expressed the need to move swiftly to keep social impact central to dialogue. A lack of consensus on impact frameworks should not stand in the action and iteration.
This convening and other discussions informed the contents of a letter to the Treasury by the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (linked below), which outlined a series of recommendations while the Treasury Department was in the process of developing further guidance around the OZ program. 

Treasury Department and IRS Release Proposed Tax Regulations

On October 19th, 2018, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued much-awaited regulations and key guidelines for the OZ program. See below for a link to the regulations.

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