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After Latest OZ Guidance Drop, Some Questions Remain

After the IRS issued its second round of opportunity zone guidance, the federal government is seeking input to successfully implement the program.

After Latest OZ Guidance Drop, Some Questions Remain

The IRS may have released its second round of proposed opportunity zone guidance, but the federal government is still active in ensuring the program is implemented successfully, and it’s asking the public for help to answer some remaining questions.

White House Launches Opportunity Zones Revitalization Council

The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council published its implementation plan outlining a detailed plan of work pursuant to executive order 13853, which created the council, named its member-agencies and established its core focuses.

The plan creates “Council Work Streams” to establish lead and supporting agencies focused around the specific issues of measuring entrepreneurship, safe neighborhoods and economic, educational and workforce development.

In coming months, the council will be conducting a listening tour across various opportunity zones, reviewing federal programs that can assist with opportunity zones, developing a uniform opportunity zone “training manual” and best practices and aggregating a list of various federal programs that can assist with opportunity zone communities.

Given the potential benefits the OZ program can provide middle-market investors, the efforts of the council will be of significant interest to ACG members.

ACG’s public policy team will continue to follow these initiatives and provide relevant updates.

Treasury Issues RFI for Opportunity Zones Data Collection and Tracking

In addition to the proposed guidance, Treasury also announced a request for information on the development of information collection and tracking for OZ investments.

The goal of the RFI is to help achieve optimal tracking of the effectiveness and investor-attractiveness of opportunity zones.

In addition to other questions, the request asks what data would be useful for tracking the effectiveness of the OZ tax incentives, what costs and benefits would or should be taken into account when considering various methods of information collection and what factors should be considered when examining data on the effectiveness of the OZs.

The full request for information is available here.

HUD Requests Information

On April 12, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a request for information on the best ways to maximize the impact of OZs.

Per the release, the RFI is intended to allow the “public to share existing knowledge and provide recommendations to HUD regarding the use of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities, including qualified Opportunity Zones.”

In addition to other questions in the RFI, HUD asks:

  1. How it can use its existing authorities to maximize the benefits of the opportunity zones program.
  2. If they should create an information portal.
  3. How support for urban and economically distressed areas should be prioritized.
  4. How technical assistance should be provided.
  5. How to evaluate the impact of opportunity zones.
  6. How the agency should interact with other stakeholders to maximize the opportunity zones incentive.

The full RFI is available here. Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

If you have any feedback on the RFI or other matters, please share with ACG’s public policy team at policy@acg.org.