Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones were established by the ratification of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, in conjunction with the U.S. Investing in Opportunities Act which created tax incentives for investment in designated census tracts called Opportunity Zones.  These were designed to spur growth into low-income communities by encouraging reinvestment of capital gains into certified Opportunity Funds.

For information on the selection process of the 879 California Opportunity Zones established by the Department of Finance in accordance with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 please review the information provided by the State of California Department of Finance.

Current Regulations

Treasury, IRS Proposed Regulations on new Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive (PDF)
This is a document that has been submitted to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for publication and is currently pending placement on public display at the OFR and publication in the Federal Register. 

Rev. Rul. 2018-29 (PDF)
In addition to the proposed regulations, Treasury and the IRS issued an additional piece of guidance to aid taxpayers in participating in the qualified Opportunity Zone incentive. Rev. Rul. 2018-29 provides guidance for taxpayers on the “original use” requirement for land purchased after 2017 in qualified opportunity zones. They also released Form 8996, which investment vehicles will use to self-certify as QOFs. 

Other Resources

State Guidance from Proposed Budget

Governor Newsom’s 2019-2020 proposed budget included language which addresses the issue of federal conformity related to the Opportunity Zones.

From page 94 of the budget summary. “The state will also make EIFDs a more attractive economic tool by pairing them with the federal Opportunity Zones program. To make Opportunity Zones more effective, the state will conform to federal law allowing for deferred and reduced taxes on capital gains in Opportunity Zones for investments in green technology or in affordable housing, and for exclusion of gains on such investments in Opportunity Zones held for 10 years or more. Additionally, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development will help foster relationships between local EIFDs and investors to facilitate investments for disadvantaged communities or other targeted areas. The state will explore layering additional programs on Opportunity Zones and EIFDs to increase the production of affordable and moderate-income housing.”

State Agency Contacts List

The state has created a multi-agency team that is focus on opportunity zones benefiting California residents. View the State Agency List.

Annual Meetings

On November 12, 2019, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), California Promise Zones, the California State Treasurer’s Office (STO), the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), and the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) held the first Annual Meeting via webinar. The webinar was on leveraging Promise Zones (https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/promise-zones/) and Opportunity Zones (https://opportunityzones.hud.gov/) to meet state and local community and economic development needs.


The webinar featured an overview of each federal program, each Promise Zone in California, and state agency programs that align with both federal programs.

Webinar Recording

Promise Zones & Opportunity Zones

Promise Zones

State Supportive Programs

 If interested in attending the annual meeting, email GO-Biz. The meeting will include information on leveraging Opportunity Zones/Promise Zones to meet State and local needs.

Promise Zones

Former President Obama laid out an initiative to designate a number of urban, rural and tribal communities as Promise Zones. Promise Zones are high poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health and address other priorities identified by the community. The 22 urban, rural, and tribal Promise Zones were selected through three rounds of national competition, in which applicants demonstrated a consensus vision for their community and its residents, the capacity to carry it out, and a shared commitment to specific, measurable results. More information related to the formation of the designations, benefits of the program and Federal Government Partners can be found at the HUD EXCHANGE.

Recognized Zones

Annual Meetings

If interested in attending the annual meeting, email GO-Biz. The meeting will include information on leveraging Opportunity Zones/Promise Zones to meet State and local needs.