The recently passed U.S. Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 created the Opportunity Zone Program to provide incentives for investment in low income communities throughout the country. An Opportunity Zone is a designated geographic area, in which individuals can gain favorable tax treatment on their capital gains, by investing those funds (through a privately-created Opportunity Fund) into economic activities in the area. An Opportunity Zone has been designated in South Yarmouth which stretches from Parker’s River to Bass River.
Opportunity Funds are private sector investment vehicles that invest at least 90 percent of their capital in Opportunity Zones. The funds provide investors the chance to put that money to work rebuilding some of the nation’s communities.
WHAT ARE THE INCENTIVES THAT ENCOURAGE LONG-TERM INVESTMENT IN YARMOUTH?
The Opportunity Zone program offers investors the following incentives for putting their capital to work in designated communities:
A temporary tax deferral for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund. The deferred gain must be recognized on the earlier of the date on which the opportunity zone investment is sold or December 31, 2026.
A step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund. The basis of the original investment is increased by 10% if the investment in the qualified opportunity zone fund is held by the taxpayer for at least 5 years, and by an additional 5% if held for at least 7 years, excluding up to 15% of the original gain from taxation.
A permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains from the sale or exchange of an investment in a qualified opportunity zone fund, if the investment is held for at least 10 years. (Note: this exclusion applies to the gains accrued from an investment in an Opportunity Fund, not the original gains).
The Town of Yarmouth, in conjunction with the Town of Barnstable, was also recently selected to participate in the first ever Massachusetts Opportunity Zones Academy through LOCUS and Smart Growth America. As a part of the Academy, each town hosted a half-day workshop where staff from Smart Growth America provided an overview of Opportunity Zones and discussed ways that properties in Town could benefit from the tax incentive. To view a copy of the presentation made at this workshop and to view additional Opportunity Zone resources, please click on the links below.