Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones are a new community development tool established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This new tool is designed to drive long-term capital to low-income communities. The new law provides a federal tax incentive for investors to re-invest their capital gains into Opportunity Funds, which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in designated low-income areas.

There are 176 census tracts in Tennessee that are qualified opportunity zones. These low-income tracts were nominated by Tennessee and certified by the Secretary of the Treasury. Tennessee’s 176 tract recommendations were determined based on a strategic and data-driven review of county mayor feedback in addition to consideration of state priorities and initiatives including:

  •  Business development and brownfield redevelopment opportunities
  •  Retail, commercial and tourism development opportunities
  •  Community and rural development initiatives
  •  Low-income housing development opportunities
  • Proximity to entrepreneur centers, technology transfer offices, and colleges and universities


TNECD conducted nine technical assistance trainings across the State from the Tri-Cities to Memphis in December 2019. Over 1,400 attendees learned about the “opportunity zone” benefit. Opportunity Alabama conducted three of the sessions, LBMC and Frost Brown Todd, LLC conducted the other six.Links to the slide presentations are found here:

Informational Events