Opportunity Zones represent significant investment opportunities.
- More than 8,760 communities have been designated as Opportunity Zones.
- Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Opportunity Zones.
- Life expectancy is on average three years shorter for Opportunity Zone residents than it is nationally.
- On average, the median family income in an Opportunity Zone is 37% below the State median.
- 1 in 4 Opportunity Zones have a poverty rate over 40%, compared to one in 15 census tracts nationwide.
- The homeownership rate in Opportunity Zones is approximately 15 percentage points lower than the national average.
- Unemployment rates are 1.6 times higher in Opportunity Zone census tracts than the average United States census tract.
- Approximately 22% of Opportunity Zone adult residents have not attained a high school diploma, compared to 13% nationally.
- The average poverty rate in an Opportunity Zone is more than 32%, compared with a rate of 17% for the average United States census tract.
Transportation in Opportunity Zones
U.S. Department of Transportation's Role
Strategies and goals for the Economic Development Work Stream include:
- Target and streamline infrastructure programs to Opportunity Zones and other economically distressed communities;
- Leverage Federal grants and loans in a more integrated way;
- Improve and increase coordination between Federal, State, local, and tribal capital investment;
- Provide increased flexibility in existing Federal programs that operate within Opportunity Zones; and
- Spur private investment through public-private partnerships.
The economic benefits that new and innovative developments bring to communities are
- Only 9% of Opportunity Zones have at least one public transit station.
- State, tribal, and local governments—being the primary stewards of United States infrastructure—own more than 90% of America’s public capital and a majority of the capital dollars are spent on schools, transportation, water infrastructure, and distribution.
- Infrastructure-related occupations provide meaningful salaries, having a median wage over $37,000.
- Of the Qualified Opportunity Zones 40% are in rural census tracts, 38% are in urban tracts, and 22% are in suburban tracts.
- As U.S. GDP grows at more than 3% and unemployment drops below 4%, modernizing infrastructure and development will be necessary to support the changing workforce
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2012, 14 million people have jobs in fields directly related to infrastructure, and infrastructure accounts for almost 11% of the nation’s workforce.
Explore the Opportunity Zones
of Transportation Impact
Rail Infrastructure and Safety
Opportunity zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors.
- First, investors can defer tax on any prior gains invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) until the earlier of the date on which the investment in a QOF is sold or exchanged, or December 31, 2026. If the QOF investment is held for longer than 5 years, there is a 10% exclusion of the deferred gain. If held for more than 7 years, the 10% becomes 15%.
- Second, if the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor is eligible for an increase in basis of the QOF investment equal to its fair market value on the date that the QOF investment is sold or exchanged.
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