U.S. Treasury approves Florida’s Low Tax Opportunity Zones

Immokalee, Golden Gate, and Naples Manor Will Benefit

The federal government has just designated Immokalee, Golden Gate and Naples Manor as Low Tax Opportunity Zones, which will encourage long-term investment and job creation by reducing taxes for businesses that create jobs there.

The designation, approved June 14, by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will enable those economically distressed areas to attract businesses, developers and financial institutions to invest there and receive preferential tax treatment – allowing them to defer capital gains taxes through investments in federally established Opportunity Funds.

Low Tax Opportunity Zones were established in the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Collier County’s five approved Census tracts were among 427 statewide Gov. Rick Scott submitted to the treasury on April 18.

“The Opportunity Zone designation will be a boon to our highest-need areas, Immokalee, Golden Gate and Naples Manor, and will boost growth investment,” said Jace Kentner, director of the Collier County Office of Business and Economic Development. “We look forward to seeing local investors and businesses take advantage of the benefits provided in our Opportunity Zones.”

The governor received 1,200 requests from municipal and county governments, regional planning councils, nonprofits, developers, investors and others. Those tracts then went through an evaluation process that included a statistical analysis of poverty and unemployment rates, population and other economic indicators.

Opportunity Zones have now been designated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. possessions.

Investors in qualified opportunity funds that invest in qualified Opportunity Zones can defer taxes on prior gains until no later than Dec. 31, 2026. Those tax benefits are available even where investors do not live, work or have a business in an Opportunity Zone. All that’s required is to invest in a Qualified Opportunity Fund.

The federal government will now begin a rulemaking process to designate how Opportunity Funds are created and how businesses, developers and financial institutions can invest in qualified zones. For more information on the Opportunity Zone program, go here and here.
For more information call the Business and Economic Development Division at (239) 252-4040.

The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.

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