Recently, through approval by the General Assembly and Governor Murphy, 169 census tracts in New Jersey were designated Opportunity Zones (OZs). The identified OZs are located in municipalities across the state. These are areas where the state would like to direct growth and that have some market potential to attract the kind of private investments that will help these communities become less distressed over time.
In “The Hill.com,” John Lettieri and Steve Glickman of the Economic Innovation Group opine that Local leadership is key for successful Opportunity Zones
The primary goal of Opportunity Zones is to encourage long-term equity investments in struggling communities, many of which have been excluded from the benefits of the national economic expansion in recent years. The recent stock market boom and prolonged period of record corporate profitability have resulted in a massive stockpile of unrealized capital gains wealth — over $6 trillion in corporate and individual holdings as of the end of 2017, according to our analysis of Federal Reserve data.
Because of Opportunity Zones, investors are now incentivized to reinvest those dollars into capital-starved, low-income communities. And, because investors are exclusively using their own capital without any up-front subsidy, there is no cap on how much capital can be put to work rebuilding communities. It is a nationally scalable incentive.