Executive Director’s Corner: Brian Doudna, EDFP

Preparing Wisconsin Opportunity Zones for Investment

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association and statewide partners, including the League of Wisconisn Municipalities, WEDC, WHEDA and the Commercial Association of REALTORS, invite communities with designated Wisconsin Opportunity Zones to a full day workshop focused on the creation of an Opportunity Zone Investment Prospectus.

The workshop will be held at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center on February 6th, 2019. Please mark your calendar!

Federal Background:

Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. The Opportunity Zones program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing into Opportunity Zones. The Internal Revenue Service is providing guidance to the investment community on The Qualified Opportunity Zone tax benefits will be administered.

Wisconsin Background:

Once the federal legislation was passed, Wisconsin had a limited time to submit census tracts that matched the federal legislation. The Wisconsin Opportunity Zone designations were made based on recommendations from four state agencies; public comment; and an independent analysis conducted by a national consulting firm. Wisconsin has the maximum number of zones allowed under federal law and are found in 44 counties and 60 different municipalities.

Investors Background:

Individuals, wealth management, accounting firms, financial institutions and institutional investors will be focused on developing the legal structures to make these investments most advantageous to their individual situations. These structures will form quickly as federal guidance is clarified with most investors interested in a 2019 project to take full advantage of the tax benefits.

Opportunity Zone Investment Prospectus – Creating Deal Flow:

The workshop on February 6th is designed to help communities create an investment prospectus document that can be shared to promote opportunities within the designated zone. The workshop will be a working session with development partners to help identify and understand the types of projects and how different economic development tools can be layered to provide rate of return attractive to investors.
The session will bring together all aspects of a development to discuss and explore projects that can provide institutional investors the opportunity to make investments across Wisconsin.
This is a pre-conference session to the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development held on February 7th and 8th.