On December 12th, President Trump signed an Executive Order to create the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to provide coordinated support for Opportunity Zones across the federal government. The Council will be led by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and include representatives from 13 federal agencies.
Over 8,700 Opportunity Zones have been designated throughout the United States to spur investment in distressed communities. These zones—home to about 35 million Americans—could attract over $100 billion in private funding spurred by a federal tax incentive included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The Council is tasked with ensuring that relevant federal programs sufficiently support the Opportunity Zone program and maximize its effectiveness. Specifically, over the next year, the Council will propose:
- changes to federal policies to encourage public and private investment in Opportunity Zones and other distressed areas;
- changes to federal policies that would help state, local and tribal governments more effectively harness federal resources in Opportunity Zones and other distressed areas; and,
- best practices for making public and private investments in Opportunity Zones and other distressed communities.
In addition, the Council will determine how to best evaluate the Opportunity Zone program and the efficacy of the actions of the federal government to support Opportunity Zone-related investments.