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U.S. Treasury Approves Minnesota Opportunity Zones

128 census tracts in Minnesota to receive the designation

ST. PAUL – The U.S. Department of Treasury today approved 128 low-income census tracts in Minnesota to be designated as Opportunity Zones. All of the approved census tracts were recommended to Treasury by Gov. Mark Dayton in April following recommendations from cities, counties and tribal nations.

Opportunity Zones are a new economic and community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term economic development and housing investments in low-income communities nationwide.

“Expanding access to good jobs and better opportunities has been a top priority for my Administration. These efforts have been especially important in communities that are experiencing continuing economic disparities,” said Governor Dayton. “The Opportunity Zones program provides Minnesota a great opportunity to work with local community leaders and our federal partners to build upon that important work and improve people’s lives.”

“This approval by the U.S. Treasury Department will open the door to much needed investment to some of Minnesota’s lowest-income areas to spur economic development,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “This program could lead to new strategies to bridge public-private partnerships.”

“Investments in Opportunity Zones can help spur development of housing too,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal. “We look forward to working with communities and developers to explore the potential of this new tool for housing.”

Projects in Opportunity Zones will be eligible for funding through Opportunity Funds. Opportunity Funds are 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. Guidance for opportunity funds are being developed by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service and should be available later this year.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.


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