Opportunity Zones: Just another incentive for the rich?

As fellow CRA Officers and community development professionals, we are all still learning how this "newer" Opportunity Zone incentive born out of Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, works to revitalize and stabilize lower-income communities.

But is this just another tax incentive for the rich or a tool for community revitalization?  Let's take a look...

As stated in a Forbes article, the potential market for the Opportunity Zones program, the new tax-break that allows investors to defer taxes on realized capital gains with investments into “O-Funds” with the intention of incentivizing long-term investment in low-income communities in the U.S., at an eye-popping $6 trillion.

So, yes, it does seem on the surface, that the rich can certainly benefit from this new incentive.  But let's also assume that given the structure of the incentive, that there might be ancillary outcomes that, but not for OZ projects, the rich might also...

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Mark Pinsky shares "CDFI Friendly Cities" a fresh approach to community development

Community development financial institutions or otherwise known as CDFIs are powerful tools that are an important player within the continuum of credit spectrum to strategically deploy capital within disadvantaged communities. CDFIs partner with banks and other community development entities to realize the power of partnerships to realize impact.

In a newly released podcast, Mark Pinsky shares a few stories of his CDFI journey and will share his new CDFI Friendly Cities initiative and his deep thoughts about community development.

Mark will share his insights on how communities gain access to valuable and financing for small business, commercial real estate and housing and how you facilitate and lower the costs for CDFIs to expand their coverage and increase their financing activity into new, underserved CDFI markets. He will also share how CDFI investors expand opportunities and attract new investors who have previously lacked knowledge of and opportunities to invest in CDFIs.

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What does the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the world's most active volcano have in common?

 
 
On May 3, 2018, Kilauea erupted dramatically, followed by a 5.0 magnitude quake on the Big Island of Hawaii. The eruption spewed lava into residential subdivisions prompting mandatory evacuations and wide-spread fear in the surrounding low- and moderate-income communities.  


Photo Credit:— Bruce Omori / Paradise Helicopters via EPA
 
Chances are, your bank has already had multiple conversations about local and national disasters, and as a member of the community development team, if you aren't at the table, you might miss the opportunity to not only make an impact, but to also earn CRA credit for your bank's efforts.
  
Financial Institutions are an integral part of the solution.
 
Photo Credit: — Jae C. Hong / AP
 
Some of your colleagues are making donations to nonprofit relief organizations on the ground, some are holding emergency meetings to create interim programs to waive fees, increase daily ATM cash limits and...
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