Did States Maximize their Opportunity Zone Selections?

Brief

Did States Maximize their Opportunity Zone Selections?

Analysis of the Opportunity Zone Designations

Abstract

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included a new federal incentive—Opportunity Zones—to spur investment in poor and undercapitalized communities. Governors (and the mayor of the District of Columbia) have now selected which among the roughly 56 percent of eligible census tracts in the U.S. should be classified as Opportunity Zones. While many criteria could be used to assess how successfully governors targeted Zones, we offer two for consideration: need and benefit. In this brief we gauge governors’ selections against tract measures of the investment flows they are receiving and the social and economic changes they have already experienced.

Zones investment score dataset (.xlsx download)

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