Opportunity Zones

Created to act as a new community development program, Opportunity Zones encourage long-term investment into low-income areas.

Designed to encourage long-term private investments in low-income communities, Opportunity Zones were established by Congress as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

This program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into “Opportunity Funds,” which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in low-income areas called “Opportunity Zones.”


The zones are comprised of low-income community census tracts and designated by Governors in every state. The OZ Opportunity Fund will focus on Opportunity Zones in North Carolina and South Carolina.

South Carolina and North Carolina designated 25 percent of qualifying census tracts as an Opportunity Zone. Qualifying Zones are based on the 2011-2015 American Community Survey.


North Carolina Tracts 

The 252 tracts represent:

  • A total population of more than 1.1 million people
  • Nearly 45,000 families with children in poverty
  • More than 50,000 business establishments
  • More than $580 million in received public and private investments over the past 5 years

South Carolina Tracts 

The 135 tracts represent:

  • A total population of more than 555,000 people

Tax Legislation

H.R. 1 (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) was signed into law on December 22, 2017.

The Opportunity Zones Program (Sec. 13823) provides tax incentives for qualified investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into low-income communities throughout the state, and across the country. Low-income census tracks are areas where the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and/or family income is less than 80% of the area’s median income.

  • Investing in Opportunity Act
  • H.R. 1 – Sec. 13823 contains the amendment for “Subchapter Z – Opportunity Zones”
  • 115th Congress (2017-2018) H.R.828 – Investing in Opportunity Act

On October 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations on the Opportunity Zones tax incentive and the operation of Opportunity Funds. This guidance is a significant first step that will help unlock market activity and economic impact in Opportunity Zones.

Stakeholders have until December 28, 2018 to submit comments on the proposed regulations, and Treasury and the IRS intend to hold a public hearing on January 10, 2019.

For more information and program updates, please contact Ashley Tison at :(704) 755-5145.

Opportunity Zone Timeline