New Federal Tax Act creates program to help spur development in disadvantaged areas

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DED Update

New Federal Tax Act creates program to help spur development in disadvantaged areas

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—Today the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) announced the creation of a new program, Opportunity Zones, as a result of Public Law 115-97, also known as the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Opportunity Zones are low-income census areas where Opportunity Funds are established to attract investors that will drive needed money into distressed communities and spur redevelopment activities. Opportunity Funds investors can achieve beneficial tax treatment for their investments for a period of time. Governor Eric Greitens has directed DED to take all necessary steps to research and recommend which areas may or may not be designated as Opportunity Zones in the State of Missouri.  

DED will share more information about the program and begin collecting feedback through a webpage and webinar at 11 a.m. on Feb. 2. 

Local governments may nominate areas for inclusion in the program by sending a written proposal to DED. There is a limit to the number of nominations the state may make to the Department of the Treasury. In order to evaluate the possible impact of the designation on each proposal, DED is requesting specific information listed here.

Each submission must be on the local government letterhead signed by the Chief Elected Official or his/her official representative. The submission may be scanned and emailed or postmarked no later than Friday, March 2, 2018 to:

Missouri Department of Economic Development
Attn:  Opportunity Zones
P.O. Box 118
301 West High Street, Suite 770
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102

Scanned documents may be emailed to: 

Register for the webinar by calling or emailing Keisha Kinkead at 573-522-4173 or All registrants will receive WebEx instructions to participate. 


To qualify as an Opportunity Zone:

  • (1) The tract has a poverty rate of at least 20%; or
  • (2)(A) For a census tract in a metropolitan area, the tract’s median family income does not exceed 80% of the greater of (A) the metropolitan area median family income or (B) statewide median family income; or
  • (2)(B) For a census tract in a non-metropolitan area, the tract does not exceed 80% of the statewide median family income.  However, in the case of a census tract located within a high migration rural county, low-income is defined by reference to 85% of statewide median family income. 
  • A “high migration rural county” is any rural county that, during the 20-year period ending with the year in which the most recent census was conducted, has a net outmigration of inhabitants from the county of at least 10% of the county population at the beginning of such period.

Maggie Kost, Director of Communications
(573) 522-5058