The Opportunity Zone Program was created through the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, and is a federal initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The program is designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the United States. The program offers incentives, in the form of capital gains tax abatement, for those who invest eligible capital into Qualified Opportunity Zone assets. For more information, visit the U.S. Treasury Department’s website.
On March 22, 2018, Governor Greg Abbott submitted the state’s Opportunity Zone designations to the U.S. Treasury Department to encourage long-term investment in eligible Texas communities. Governor Abbott nominated 628 census tracts in 145 Texas counties as potential Opportunity Zones across the state's 5,265 census tracts.
To determine Opportunity Zones within Texas’ eligible tracts, a multi-step process was used to identify eligible areas in particular need due to chronic unemployment, lower population density and significant economic disruptors, such as natural disasters.