What are opportunity funds?

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2018

The following is Part 2 of Steven Palazzo’s column on Opportunity Zones.

Opportunity funds are a new group of investment vehicles that give private investors the chance to reduce their capital gains tax when they invest in projects located in Opportunity Zones. That tax incentive increases the longer the investment remains in the community.

The outcome is a multi-trillion-dollar pool of capital that these communities can tap into to assist them with a wide range of long-term economic development activities.

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Funds here could be broad or narrowly focused toward anything from broadband expansion and housing development to startup funding for local entrepreneurs looking to invest in their communities.

The Hattiesburg area serves as a great, local example of how this program will work.

For instance, the Eagle One Industrial Mega-site located in the unincorporated Forrest and Lamar Counties has been in the works for some time now, and is intended for large industrial facilities to open shop. Given its’ vast acreage and proximity to rail and port, it’s a perfect spot for investors and companies to locate large businesses and manufacturing companies.

By designating it an opportunity zone, it opens doors and incentivizes companies to locate and invest in this shovel ready space for the long run, which in turn could create hundreds of stable jobs for the community. 

Years of sluggish job growth and overregulation are nearing an end.

It is time for all Americans to reap the benefits of a booming economy, and that is precisely what this Republican congress is committed to doing. Opportunity Zones are a prime example of how we are getting government out of the way, and allowing free enterprise to flourish.

By providing these tools, we are shedding light on the attractiveness of these communities as places to do business, invest in new facilities, and create good paying jobs.

In doing this, we are one step closer to ensuring that a prosperous America is not just beneficial to a few, but rather, is shared by all.