Public Law 115-97, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, provides for the governor of each state to nominate qualified census tracts as “Opportunity Zones”. Designation as an Opportunity Zone allows for the creation of a new class of investment vehicle with tax advantages authorized to aggregate and deploy private investment located in Opportunity Zones. The purpose of these tax advantages is to direct capital investment into economically distressed areas.
On April 19, 2018, the Governor’s office submitted 63 tracts to the Department of the Treasury to be designated as Opportunity Zones. NMEDD worked with local stakeholders via county governments to submit a detailed questionnaire on eligible tracts in their area. Local stakeholders included private enterprise, economic development organizations, business organizations, councils of government, property owners/developers, tribal entities, and community organizations among others. New Mexico had 249 eligible tracts of which 128 were submitted for consideration. In turn, New Mexico nominated to the Treasury its full allotment of 63 tracts.
On Friday, May 18, 2018, the Department of the Treasury designated 63 Opportunity Zones in New Mexico. New Mexico’s Opportunity Zones are located in rural, tribal and urban communities in 22 counties. Qualified Opportunity Zones retain this designation for 10 years.