South Florida Investors Get In Position For Opportunity Zones | Bisnow

September 9, 2018

Updates: Around the country, real estate and finance experts are talking about the new opportunity zone program. And around the country, they have lots of questions. Courtesy of the state of Florida Green coloring highlights opportunity zones in South Florida.

Several experts spoke to Bisnow about their questions, hopes and fears as the program relates to South Florida. The opportunity zone program, established this year as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lets investors delay paying taxes on capital gains, plus reduce the amount of tax due, so long as those gains are rolled over into a fund that invests in economically distressed communities and held for a certain time period. The longer an investment is held, the greater the benefit.

If a person holds his or her interest in the fund for 10 years, then sells at a profit, he or she can pay no tax at all on those gains. This summer, the zones were defined using census tracts. Some 8,700 tracts were designated as opportunity zones; that is 12% of the U.S., including 427 tracts in Florida, 68 in Miami-Dade and the entirety of Puerto Rico. Investors have expressed interest in the program, but before anyone makes moves, lawyers and accountants need more clarity from the Treasury Department, which is expected any day now. Investors have questions such as what types of businesses qualify for investment. “Our phone rang a lot” as their clients got wind of the program, said Aztec Group Managing Director Charles Penan, who helps investors arrange capital for projects, often in neighborhood like Edgewater, Little River, Little Haiti and Overtown, parts of which fall into opportunity zones. “We’re waiting for more direction so we can advise clients.” Penan predicted that once new rules are finalized and specific investments pinned down, “everyone’s going to make a mad dash for credit, for lending in these zones, and CRA credit if you will … I think if the market turns, it could be very beneficial and generate a lot of interest in neighborhoods that need help.” Bisnow/Deirdra Funcheon The O & M Supermarket is just blocks from the proposed site of David Beckham’s soccer stadium.

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