Maryland Identifies “Opportunity Zones”, Awaits Federal Approval

Under the 2017 tax reforms Congress established a new program for states to designate a series of census tracts as “Opportunity Zones.” These Zones provide a new tool to encourage long-term private investment in low-income communities by providing federal tax breaks on any capital gains that result from specific investment in those communities.

As the The Baltimore Sun reports Maryland officials have chosen 149 areas around the state for designation:

Much of East and West Baltimore has been nominated. So has Park Heights and huge swathes of south Baltimore including parts of Port Covington, where Under Armour founder Kevin Plank has proposed building a mixed-use project from scratch.

In addition, the zones would be established around Fort Meade In Anne Arundel County, Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County and the Indian Head naval facility in Southern Maryland. The state also has targeted an area of Montgomery County where it hopes to lure Amazon’s second headquarters, as well as parts of Cecil County where officials are encouraging distribution centers to open up.

In March, MACo sent a letter to state officials urging a process to incorporate county input into the state selection of Opportunity Zones. As the Sun article notes officials consulted with local politicians, developers and others to help target the areas most attractive for development. The next step is for the U.S. Treasury Department to review and approve the state designations, which it is anticipated the Treasury will do.

For more information:

Maryland chooses dozens of struggling neighborhoods statewide for new federal ‘Opportunity Zone’ tax breaks (The Baltimore Sun)

County Input Sought on “Opportunity Zone” Designations (Conduit Street)

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