The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS announced that Missouri had been officially added to the list of states with Qualified Opportunity Zones, a program designed to spur investment in economically distressed communities with tax incentives for investors. The program was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Missouri’s 6th Congressional District, represented by Congressman Sam Graves, received multiple Opportunity Zone designations. Areas in the 6th District with census tracts receiving designations were Excelsior Springs, the south side of St. Joseph, Maryville, Western Caldwell County, Eastern Sullivan County, Kirksville, and downtown and the south side of Hannibal.

“Getting an Opportunity Zone designation could really help revitalize some important areas in these communities. This will spur economic growth and attract investment that otherwise might not exist. This is a great example of one of the many benefits of our tax cuts plan and I’m excited to see it put into action in North Missouri,” Graves said.

Local governments nominated areas for inclusion by submitting written proposals to the Missouri Department of Economic Development and detailing proposed investments in those areas. The MO Department of Economic Development submitted their final recommendations to the U.S. Treasury last month.

Qualified Opportunity Zones retain this designation for 10 years. Investors can defer tax on any prior gains until no later than December 31, 2026, so long as the gain is reinvested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund, an investment vehicle organized to make investments in Qualified Opportunity Zones.  In addition, if the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor would be eligible for an increase in its basis equal to the fair market value of the investment on the date that it is sold.