Opportunity Zone Program

Building Investment in Under-Served Communities

The Opportunity Zone Program in New York State

New York State is participating in the new Opportunity Zone community development program, offered through the Tax Cuts and Job Acts of 2017. The federal program encourages private investment in low-income urban and rural communities.  New York State is currently reviewing eligible census tracts to nominate as Opportunity Zones and encourages public engagement during this process. The final recommendation will be based on analyses by Empire State Development (ESD), New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs).

Batavia, NY Opportunity Zones FAQ Image

Q: What is an Opportunity Zone?
A: An Opportunity Zone is a low-income census tract with an individual poverty rate of at least 20 percent and median family income no greater than 80 percent of the area median.

Q: What is the benefit of an Opportunity Zone?
A: An Opportunity Zone can receive funds from Opportunity Funds. Opportunity Funds provide investors the chance to put that money to work rebuilding the low to moderate income communities. The fund model will enable a broad array of investors to pool their resources in Opportunity Zones, increasing the scale of investments going to underserved areas.

Q: How many Opportunity Zones may a state nominate?
A: Each state may nominate a minimum of 25 total eligible census tracts but no more than 25 percent  of the total number of eligible census tracts within the state. The nominations must be made by the Governor no later than April 20, 2018. When finalized, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will approve the nominated census tracts and administer the Opportunity Zone Program.

Q: What areas are eligible for nomination to Opportunity Zones?
A: Click here to see eligible census tracts. Zoom in on New York State and click on “2011-2015 LIC Census Tract and Opportunity Zone Eligible Continuous Tract.”

Q: Where can I find more information about Opportunity Zones?
A: Check the following for more details and information:

Q: How will Governor Cuomo determine which zones to nominate?
A: The Governor has asked Empire State Development and Homes and Community Renewal in conjunction with the Regional Economic Development Councils to research and outline all possible areas which could be designated as Opportunity Zones. The final recommendation of opportunity zones will be determined based on the information provided by ESD, HCR and the REDCs.

Opportunity Zones: Eligible Areas

To view eligible census tracts, use this map to zoom in on New York State and click on “2011-2015 LIC Census Tract and Opportunity Zone Eligible Continuous Tract.”

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