Editor’s Note: The following is a press release.
BOSTON – The U.S. Treasury Department informed the Baker-Polito Administration that all of Massachusetts’ Opportunity Zone designations have been approved. This decision is the culmination of several months’ engagement with local, state and federal officials, interest groups, and potential investors, resulting in Governor Baker’s formal recommendation of 138 Opportunity Zone designations, the maximum number allowed under the new program. The federally-approved tracts are located in 79 communities spread across the state.
The City of Framingham was among the 79 communities that submitted tracks.
(Framingham submitted tracks 25017383102 and 25017383101)
The Opportunity Zone program presents an opportunity for private, tax-advantaged investment into areas of economic need, benefiting both residents living in the zones and private investors.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Treasury has approved Massachusetts’ Opportunity Zone nomination in its entirety for 79 communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration looks forward to building out the program to advance job creation and economic activity in every county of the Commonwealth.”
The Opportunity Zone program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into ‘Opportunity Funds,’ which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in Opportunity Zones.
“The approval from the U.S. Treasury validates our collaborative approach and our efforts to achieve regional equity across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to receive full approval, knowing that many different types of communities – from rural to Gateway Cities to large urban centers – will now have additional opportunities to attract investment.”
Of the 138 designated tracts, 32 are located in the 10 communities with the lowest median family income (MFI) in the state. 48% of the tracts are in “Gateway Cities,” which are municipalities with a population between 35,000 and 250,000, with median household income and rate of educational attainment of bachelor’s degree or greater below the state average. Rural communities make up 18% of the communities with designated tracts.
“We are pleased that the U.S. Treasury concurs with our designations and we are excited to move forward with these communities and other critical stakeholders,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Our near-term focus is ensuring communities have the tools they need to position their Opportunity Zones as attractive investments. We will continue to work with them and all cities and towns in the Commonwealth to advance their economic growth agendas.”
The Baker-Polito Administration will continue to support communities with approved Opportunity Zones over the coming weeks and months, including a briefing scheduled for mid-June.