On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Treasury designated the Town of Bristol's Census Tract 307 as a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ). Created as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zones Program is a new approach to encourage private-investment in low-income neighborhoods around the country.
These investments come in the form of U.S. Treasury Certified Opportunity Funds. Investors with capital gains tax liabilities will be able to make equity investments in businesses and real estate. Individuals do not need to live in a Qualified Opportunity Zone to invest in these funds.
"This gives Bristol another tool to attract new investment into town while also making a positive impact in the areas of our community that need it the most," said Chris Vitale, Bristol's Economic Development Coordinator, "We look forward to working with the State and Federal government on rolling out this program." Census Tract 307 was one of 25 area in Rhode Island nominated by Governor Gina M. Raimondo for this program. Among the areas included in Census Tract 307 are Bristol's Historic Downtown and Wood Street neighborhood.
The Opportunity Zones Program offers three tax benefits for investing in a qualified Opportunity Fund. This program will allow investors to defer paying capital gains taxes on funds invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund, provide a gradual reduction of their original taxable capital gains, and provide a permanent exclusion from taxes on capital gains realized in the investment if it's held for over 10 years.
In the coming weeks, the Town of Bristol will be providing additional program details and resources on its website. For questions regarding the Opportunity Zone Program, please contact Chris Vitale, Economic Development Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.