by guest blogger Kat West of Skeo Solutions
On November 1, 2020, EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Program released a fact sheet that promotes opportunity zones to help revitalize contaminated and formerly contaminated property, including Superfund sites. Often called ‘once in a lifetime’ tax benefits, opportunity zones represent a significant incentive for Superfund redevelopment across the nation. Approximately 343 Superfund sites on the National Priorities List (NPL) are located within or partially within an opportunity zone. And it is estimated that there are thousands of Superfund removal sites in the zones.
Superfund redevelopment projects must meet either the original use test or the substantial improvement test to qualify for opportunity zone tax benefits. To meet the original use test, the Superfund site property must be significantly unused (80% of usable square feet of land or buildings are unused) for the past three years or significantly unused one year prior to the opportunity zone being designated and through the date of site property acquisition.
As pointed out in the Redevelopment Institute’s November 2019 webinar on opportunity zones, understanding and communicating these tax benefits is not always simple. This fact sheet provides succinct information to assist communities, private investors and developers when evaluating Superfund site reuse potential.