MSHDA, MEDC launch Michigan Opportunity Zones website

Media Contact: Misty Elliott
517-335-9847 | elliottm7@michigan.gov


September 19, 2019

LANSING, MICH. – The Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Michigan Economic Development Corporation recently launched www.miopportunityzones.com, a new website dedicated to providing information and resources for investors, entrepreneurs, community leaders, developers, builders and more around Michigan’s Opportunity Zones and corresponding tax incentives. 

“Thriving businesses are the backbone of local communities and it is critical that we provide businesses and developers across the state with the tools they need to continue to invest in and help build vibrant communities,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “The more we can educate business owners and community leaders on Opportunity Zones and the benefits of investing in these areas, the more we’re helping our businesses and our people flourish. This website is an exciting resource to help with that mission.”


Opportunity Zones, which were created as part of the 2017 U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, are a national program designed to increase long-term capital investments in low-income communities that have experienced a lack of business growth. According to the website, “Opportunity Zones are designed to increase the amount of patient (long-term) capital investments in low-income communities around the country that have been cut off from capital and have experienced a lack of business growth. There are three types of tax incentives that relate to the treatment of capital gains. Each incentive is tied to the longevity of an investor’s stake in a qualified Opportunity Fund. The greatest incentives are reserved for investments held for 10 years or more.”
 

Business Facilities recently ranked Michigan in the top 10 states in the nation for Opportunity Zones, and MSHDA is partnering with MEDC to build on this success and lead education and resource planning for Michigan Opportunity Zones, including working with local municipalities across the state to help them market their Opportunity Zone to attract new development activities.

“At MSHDA, we’re advancing the conversation around Opportunity Zones and offering decision-makers across the state knowledge, tools and resources to take advantage of what they have to offer,” said Gary Heidel, Acting Executive Director of MSHDA. “Questions continue to come in about what Opportunity Zones are and how business owners and community leaders can take advantage of them. This website will answer those questions and more as a one-stop, comprehensive resource aimed at giving interested parties information they can use to engage in our Opportunity Zones.” 

The gain from sales of appreciated assets, such as works of art or antiques, can also be reinvested into a Qualified Opportunity Fund. Then, depending on how long the investment is held, tax benefits accrue in five, seven or 10 years. Reinvesting deferred gains on art sales can help grow local Michigan communities. 

“Michigan’s communities, particularly our Redevelopment Ready Communities, are well poised to take advantage of Opportunity Zones investment to provide more opportunities for growth and development across the state,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of MEDC. “Working together with our partners at MSHDA and other state agencies, we are working to make more businesses and developers aware of the benefits of investing in our Opportunity Zones, and this new website will be an important resource in helping to tell that story.”

There are 288 Opportunity Zones census tracts in Michigan, with 23 percent of those existing in rural areas. In total, more than 8,760 qualified Opportunity Zones exist across the U.S., its territories and Washington, D.C. For a full map of Opportunity Zones across Michigan, click here.

Information about Redevelopment Ready Sites located in Certified Redevelopment Ready Communities can be found at https://www.miplace.org/redevelopment-ready-sites/. Developers can also access available business development sites in Opportunity Zones at siteselection.michiganbusiness.org.