Opportunity Zones were created as part of the federal tax overhaul by the United States Congress at the end of 2017. The Opportunity Zone program is meant to encourage private investment in underserved communities across the United States by providing federal tax incentives for investors who invest in real estate projects, or operate businesses in these communities. While there is an incentive to invest through reductions, or complete forgiveness of taxes on reinvested capital gains, there are virtually no mechanisms to ensure responsible development written into the federal tax code.
SB 581 establishes the Opportunity Zone Enhancement Program, to be administered by the Department of Commerce. Qualifying businesses investing in projects located in an opportunity zone may qualify for enhanced incentives under the a number of existing MD tax credit.
Those enhanced incentives are broken down into Level 1 (2.5% increased incentive) and Level 2 (10% increased incentive).
Level 1 Enhancements - Opportunity Zone Funds would have to demonstrate transparency by disclosing key information like the amount and date of investment, address of the project, and progress on qualitative/quantitative benefits the project will provide to the community.
Level 2 Enhancements - Opportunity Zone Fund investment project sponsors must meet Lev