Dozens of impoverished and low-income areas around the Bay Area are eligible for investment under a new federal Opportunity Zone (OZ) program that was the focus of a recent informational forum the Bay Area Council co-hosted with KPMG. The event brought together a diverse group of financial, tax, investment and development experts along with elected and public leaders to discuss how opportunity zones can be leveraged regionally to produce positive outcomes across infrastructure, business and real estate, and generate a wide range of job-creating economic activity. OZs were included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They provide tax incentives for new investments in projects that address needs in environmental justice, sustainability, climate change and affordable housing.

Council CEO Jim Wunderman and KPMG Principal Dan Feitelberg welcomed the audience before Dan Carol, a senior advisor in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, led a discussion with Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and Micah Runner from the office of Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs on the potential for OZs to serve these low-income areas. Later in the day, KPMG Principal Orla O’Connor led a discussion with leaders from the Council, Bridge Investment Group and Highmore Group Advisors on technical aspects of OZ regulations. The Council plans to convene additional forums as more information becomes available from the IRS and Department of Treasury on the rollout of the OZ program. To learn more, please contact Council consultant Stephen Malta.