The Opportunity Zone designation is a provision under the Job Tax Credit Program, in O.C.G.A. 48-7-40.1(c)(4), which states: “Any area which is within or adjacent to one or more contiguous census block groups with a poverty rate of 15 percent or greater as determined from data in the most current United States decennial census, where the area is also included within a state enterprise zone pursuant to Chapter 88 of Title 36 or where a redevelopment plan has been adopted pursuant to Chapter 61 of Title 36 and which, in the opinion of the commissioner of community affairs, displays pervasive poverty, underdevelopment, general distress, and blight.”
Local governments interested in an Opportunity Zone designation can use the following tools to assist in determining if the area meets the criteria and, if so, to apply for a designation. First in the process would be to determine if the area meets the poverty criteria detailed above to be considered for an Opportunity Zone designation. The current interactive map of potential Opportunity Zone areas can assist in determining the census block groups in the area under consideration which meet the poverty criteria for the designation. If the poverty criterion is met, then the Opportunity Zone regulations can assist in detailing the additional criteria for designation, as well as clarifying what will be needed to substantiate these criteria for the consideration of an Opportunity Zone designation. Links to the State Enterprise Zone Law and the Redevelopment Plan Law are provided to assist in determining the best redevelopment tool for the area under consideration. The Application Checklist can then provide clarification of what must be submitted when applying for an Opportunity Zone designation. The other links below provide additional information to assist in the process.
Download a shapefile or KMZ file of Approved Opportunity Zones (current as of May 2016)