By staff writer

February 2019

Credit: The Beacon Council.

One of the hottest topics regarding our current economy is opportunity zones (OZ), a designation that came about through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that allows special advantages for investors who choose to invest in designated low-income areas throughout the country.

When Invest: Miami recently sat down with Ronald Fieldstone, partner at Saul, Ewig, Arnstein & Lehr LLP, he explained the three primary benefits of opportunity zones for investors.

“First, if you invest capital gains from the sale of any source — it could be real estate, stocks or business sales — that capital gains tax is deferred until December 31, 2026. Second, if you keep the investment in the OZ for seven years, you get a 15 percent reduction in the tax,” Fieldstone told Invest:. “Third, if the deferral is done properly, the entire appreciation in the investment as a capital asset is tax-free and the term limit is 30 years. In other words, you could invest in an OZ in 2018, build an apartment project, hold it for up to 30 years and then that entire appreciation in value is tax free.”

Florida is home to 427 opportunity zones. With 68 of those being located in Miami, it’s no wonder that the local business ecosystem is abuzz with talk of the legislation and how it can both promote economic development and ensure investors’ long-term capital gain.

Last week, Invest: Miami attended the local Bisnow event Opportunity Zones 101, which showcased panel discussions geared toward educating local businessmen on how to navigate this new and promising legislation. One of the featured speakers at the event was Don Peebles, CEO of the Peebles Corporation,  who offered his insights on how OZs can encourage economic growth.

“The power of establishing the zones is at the local level,” Peebles said. “For example, in Miami, if you look at where the zones are — they border Wynwood, they border Edgewater, they border Downtown with Overtown — they are areas that would ordinarily, over time, be recipients of economic growth and development. Opportunity zones stimulate that and make it happen faster.”

With its prevalence of designated opportunity zones and general reputation as a high-growth economy, legislation such as this will work to further ensure long-term growth and development for Miami.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:
Saul, Ewig, Arnstein & Lehr LLP: https://www.saul.com/
The Peebles Corporation: http://peeblescorp.com/

For more information on opportunity zones, pre-order a copy of Invest: Miami 2019 here: https://www.capitalanalyticsassociates.com/product/invest-miami-advance-purchase