Opportunity Zones - Polk County

What is an Opportunity Zone?

An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under

certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity

Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been

certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation authority to the Internal Revenue

Service. They are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed

communities. All green shaded areas in the map are designated Opportunity Zones.

How do Opportunity Zones spur economic development?

Opportunity Zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to

investors. First, investors can defer tax on any prior gains until the earlier of the date on which an

investment is sold or exchanged, or December 31, 2026, so long as the gain is reinvested in a

Qualified Opportunity Fund. Second, if the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor would be eligible for an increase in basis equal to the fair market value of the investment on the date that the investment is sold or exchanged.

What is a Qualified Opportunity Fund?

Qualified Opportunity Fund is an investment vehicle that is set up as either a partnership or corporation for investing in eligible property that is located in an Opportunity Zone and that utilizes the investor’s gains from a prior investment for funding the Opportunity Fund.

Do I need to live in an Opportunity Zone to take advantage of the tax benefits?

No. You can get the tax benefits, even if you don’t live, work or have a business in an Opportunity Zone. All you need to do is invest in a Qualified Opportunity Fund.

How does a taxpayer become certified as a Qualified Opportunity Fund?

To become a Qualified Opportunity Fund, an eligible taxpayer self certifies.  (Thus, no approval or action by the IRS is required.)  To self-certify, a taxpayer merely completes a form (which will be released in the summer of 2018) and attaches that form to the taxpayer’s federal income tax return for the taxable year.  (The return must be filed timely, taking extensions into account.)

How can I get more information about Opportunity Zones?

The US Treasury has released Proposed Regulations on Opportunity Zones Designed to Incentivize Investment in American Communities. A copy of the proposed guidelines can be viewed HERE.

Polk County Tax Abatement Guidelines, Criteria & Application

These Guidelines and Criteria Governing Tax Abatement Agreements by Polk County, Texas, support the county's priority of implementing policies and incentives to attract, retain and expand industries, increase employment and wages, expand the tax base, and create new economic opportunities within the County. The County is authorized to abate property taxes in accordance with the Property Redevelopment and Tax Abatement Act, which is codified as chapter 312 of the Texas Tax Code (“the Act”). These guidelines have been reviewed to help ensure that any abatement of property taxes achieves the County’s economic development goals.