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EXCLUSIVE: Murphy soon to tip hand on Opportunity Zones, sources say

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Governor Phil Murphy, earlier this month, delivering his Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Address in the Trenton.
Governor Phil Murphy, earlier this month, delivering his Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Address in the Trenton. - ()

Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to make an announcement concerning the federal Opportunity Zone program, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, NJBIZ has learned.

The federal program was launched in December in connection with assorted tax reforms. It allows for unrealized capital gains to be reinvested in Opportunity Funds aimed at low-income communities – known as Opportunity Zones – in exchange for a diminishing tax on capital gains over the lifespan of the investment.

According to the Economic Innovation Group – the organization overseeing the Opportunity Zone program – states must designate tracts as Opportunity Zones for which Opportunity Funds can be formed and used. In New Jersey, there has been recent surge in developer interest in the program—and whether Murphy would allow the state to participate in the program.

Once state officials have designated each zone and a fund has been arranged, investors have access to three tax incentives on unrealized capital gains through the Opportunity Funds: a temporary deferral, a step-up in basis and a permanent exclusion.

A well-placed source suggested Murphy might have made an announcement regarding the program as soon as today, until the state was socked with another winter snowstorm.

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David Hutter

David Hutter

David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com.

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Greg Borsinger March 21, 2018 3:29 pm

With $7Billion in incentives NJ can't attract the likes of Amazon. This new Governor needs a reality check if he wants to fix the NJ economy -need to lower taxes, reform public sector pensions and benefits and stop all this talk of giving FREE stuff to people - nothing is free and we are taxed more than any other state!