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Council Report: City nominates 19 areas as possible opportunity zones

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OPPORTUNITY ZONES NAMED

Opportunity is in Fort Worth, as in the Texas governor’s office officially designation several areas of the city as Opportunity Zones.

The Fort Worth City Council received an informal report on the subject at Tuesday’s work session.

As part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 the United States Congress established a new community development program to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. The Opportunity Zones program provides a federal tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that can used in developing Opportunity Zones designated by the governor of each state/territory.

Opportunity Funds are private sector investment vehicles that invest at least 90 percent of their capital in Opportunity Zones. U.S. investors currently hold trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains in stocks and mutual funds alone. Opportunity Funds provide investors the chance to put that money to work rebuilding the nation’s left-behind communities.

“The longer they hold it (in the communities), the more that tax liability rolls off the books,” Fort Worth Economic Development Director Robert Sturns said. “It’s a very simple cash-in, cash-out process, a fairly straightforward program.”

Fort Worth nominated 19 communities within the area to be considered by Governor Greg Abbott’s office as possible Opportunity Zones. Communities selected for the project by the governor’s office include:

*Meacham Airport/Stockyards area.

*Fort Worth Stockyards/Northside.

*Stockyards transit-oriented development/Diamond Hills.

*Medical Innovation District/Hillside-Morningside.

*Cobb Park.

*East Berry/Edgewood.

Fort Worth city staff has developed a prospectus for the program which can be found

at http://fortworthtexas.gov/EcoDev/opportunity-zones/.

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