Due to economic volatility and lack of sites available for development, I feel that development will have its focus primarily in certain targeted areas. New Jersey’s new Opportunity Zones program established opportunity zones in 169 census tracts in 75 municipalities. The qualification to become an Opportunity Zone comes from nomination by the state and has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service. Opportunity Zones were created at the end of 2017 and added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
In cities like Hackensack, East Orange, and Newark, developers invest in Qualified Opportunity Zone Properties and place their capital gains in an Opportunity Fund, eligible to any taxpayer with no federal guidelines or limitations on who can manage a Qualified Opportunity Fund. The tax incentives from doing this include capital gains deferred from taxation until exit from the fund, a reduction in capital gains tax liability, and new gains from the fund permanently excluded from the capital gains tax. Qualified Opportunity Funds can be invested in an unlimited number of Opportunity Zones. These projects produce a financial return on investment and foster an environment of collaboration between the investor and the municipality.