The Cumberland County Improvement Authority has endorsed the designation by the U. S. Department of the Treasury and Gov. Phil Murphy of qualified census tracts in Vineland, Millville and Bridgeton for inclusion in the new Opportunity Zones program.
Enacted as part of the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the program is designed to drive long-term capital investments into low-income rural and urban communities. Private investments in Opportunity Zones can receive preferential tax treatment.
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.
To qualify for the zones, communities must have a poverty rate of 20 percent or a median family income of up to 80 percent of the median for the area.
Cumberland County’s tracts are part of the first round of designated Opportunity Zones in 18 states and U.S. territories. At least one zone was nominated from every county in New Jersey.