Commerce seeking applications for Opportunity Zone designation

Deadline is Mar 26 for new program to boost economic development

Commerce is accepting applications from Washington state communities interested in being designated as Opportunity Zones for economic development.

The Opportunity Zone program is part of the recent U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs act.  It allows the governor of every state to designate up to 25 percent of eligible census tracts as Opportunity Zones.

To qualify for Opportunity Zone status, a census tract must have an individual poverty rate of at least 20 percent and median family income up to 80 percent of the area median.

View a map of census tracks.

Federally recognized tribes, counties, cities, towns, ports, housing authorities and associate development organizations are eligible to nominate tracts for Opportunity Zone designation.

The program aims to promote economic development in these communities through special funds that will be able to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains.

The deadline to apply is March 26. Find more information on the Commerce website, including application forms.