UC counties named among 75 containing ‘opportunity zones’

Opportunity Zones approved by U.S. Department of Treasury and IRS

UPPER CUMBERLAND – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced today that the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have approved Tennessee’s nomination of 176 Opportunity Zones.

The list and map of Tennessee’s approved Opportunity Zones can be found here.

The Qualified Opportunity Zone community development benefit was created by The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed in 2017. The federal benefit is designed to encourage long-term investment in low-income communities through Qualified Opportunity Funds.

“This is an exciting day for Tennessee as we announce the approved Opportunity Zones for our state,” Haslam said. “As part of the Opportunity Zone benefit, communities across Tennessee will be better equipped to succeed. Tennessee’s 176 Opportunity Zones are dispersed across all three of Tennessee’s grand divisions, and I look forward to seeing how this program will transform our communities and Tennessee as a whole.”

“We are pleased to announce the 176 approved Opportunity Zones in Tennessee,” Rolfe said. “The State emphasizes attracting and expanding businesses to Tennessee’s low-income communities, and with the assistance of the Opportunity Zone benefit, these communities will have another advantage to grow and create more jobs and opportunities.”

Investors choosing to re-invest their capital gains in opportunity zones can earn federal capital gains tax benefits. Qualifying investments include multifamily housing, industrial development, brownfield redevelopment, retail development and a variety of other investments.

Tennessee’s 176 tract designations are located across 75 counties that submitted recommendations to TNECD prior to the deadline and were chosen using a strategic, data-driven approach.

Among those chosen, 16 sites across 12 UC counties made the list:

  • Cumberland – 2

    This map shows the locations of the 16 sites in the Upper Cumberland named as “Opportunity Zones” in an effort to drive long-term capital to low-income communities.
  • DeKalb – 1
  • Fentress – 1
  • Jackson – 1
  • Macon – 1
  • Overton – 1
  • Pickett – 1
  • Putnam – 3
  • Smith – 2
  • Van Buren – 1
  • Warren – 1
  • White – 1

Tennessee’s tract recommendations were determined based on a working group’s review of county mayor feedback in addition to consideration of state priorities and initiatives including:

  • Business development and brownfield redevelopment opportunities
  • Retail, commercial and tourism development opportunities
  • Community and rural development initiatives
  • Low-income housing development opportunities
  • Proximity to entrepreneur centers, technology transfer offices, and colleges and universities

Tennessee’s working group included representation and recommendations from TNECD, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Housing Development Agency, Tennessee Valley Authority and LaunchTN.

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