Louisville Metro Government has released an interactive map of the 19 census tracts in Louisville dubbed Opportunity Zones, an effort to point deep-pocketed investors to properties ripe for investment.
The map allows users to search specific addresses to find out what properties are and are not part of an Opportunity Zone and where the boundaries of each zone end and begin.
“The Opportunity Zones program establishes the framework for investors to inject investment into projects in our city that will have a significant social impact,” said Mayor Greg Fischer in a news release. “Projects like the redevelopment of the Louisville Gardens, the Track on Ali at Heritage West, and projects from Butchertown to downtown to west Louisville are great examples of developments that could benefit from this program.”
Beyond the map, there was no new information provided about Opportunity Zones, and many questions remain about how the federally created program will operate. The U.S. Department of the Treasury is expected to release regulations surrounding the Opportunity Zones program before the end of 2018.
Earlier this year, the treasury department designated 144 Opportunity Zones in 84 Kentucky counties on the recommendation of Gov. Matt Bevin. The new designation was created by the Investing in Opportunity Act, which is part of President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The goal of the program, according to prior reports, is to encourage investors to put money currently sitting idle in bank accounts or other financial holdings into redevelopment projects in economically distressed urban and rural areas. The incentive for investors is deferred, reduced or eliminated capital gains taxes; the tax break an investor receives would depend on how much is invested and for how long.
According to previously released information, capital investors must use private sector investment vehicles called Opportunity Funds and invest at least 90 percent of the capital within the bounds of an Opportunity Zone.
Nonprofit Access Ventures, which mostly funds projects in the Shelby Park neighborhood, is the only local organization to formally announce it is exploring the possibility of creating an Opportunity Fund. Shelby Park is one of the designated Opportunity Zones.
Prior to the announcement of the state’s zones, Bevin told a crowd at Caudill Seed that the program could bring new investment to west Louisville, a large part of which is included in Opportunity Zones.