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Opportunity Zones

The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development is soliciting input from Alaskans on the designation of Opportunity Zones in Alaska. Created as part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zones Program is designed to drive long-term capital to distressed communities by providing tax benefits on investments in Opportunity Funds.

The program will provide tax incentives to private corporate and individual investors who put their capital to work in low-income communities. Investors can receive a temporary deferral for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund, a step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund if the investment is held for at least five years, and a permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains made within the Opportunity Fund when held for ten years. DCCED is not able to provide tax advice, and interested investors should consult tax professionals to learn how they may benefit from this program.

The primary basis for selecting areas for Opportunity Zone designation is their categorization as a low-income community census tract. Federal regulations define low-income as any census tract with either a) a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater, or b) a median income of 80 percent or less of the statewide median income. In Alaska, 60 census tracts meet this criteria; Governor Walker may nominate up to 25 to receive the Opportunity Zone designation. In addition, census tracts that neighbor eligible tracts and have a median income of not greater than 125 percent of the adjacent tract’s median income may qualify on the basis of adjacency.

Maps of the eligible census tracts are available below. An interactive mapping tool is also available from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development invites Alaskans to submit input on the designation of Opportunity Zones in Alaska to the Division of Economic Development. Email Us (opportunityzones@alaska.gov) before 5 PM (AKDT)on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Submissions should:

    ● Identify the census tract being proposed. Please see maps below for identification numbers.
    ● Describe the economic hardship within the census tract
    ● Fully articulate active or upcoming projects capable of utilizing the capital gains incentives described above, including complete project descriptions, project timelines, and complementary investment
    ● Include any other information that is relevant to the designation

The primary basis for selecting areas for Opportunity Zone designation is their categorization as a low-income community census tract, as defined by federal regulation. When selecting from among the eligible tracts, the State will weigh numerous considerations based on available information, including:

    ● Community support
    ● Project feasibility
    ● Workforce readiness
    ● Alignment with existing initiatives
    ● Economic hardship
    ● Geographic representation
    ● Investment opportunity

Eligible Census Tracts Maps

  • Statewide Tracts
  • Anchorage Tracts
  • Fairbanks Tracts
  • Kenai Tracts
  • Ketchikan Tracts
  • Kodiak Tracts
  • MatSu Tracts
  • SouthEast Tracts