PRESS RELEASE: Gov. Fallin Announces Approval of Federal Opportunity Zone Designations in Oklahoma

office of the governor - state of oklahoma


Michael McNutt, Communications Director

April 12, 2018

Governor Mary Fallin Announces Approval of Federal Opportunity Zone Designations in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced the designation of federal opportunity zones across the state of Oklahoma. Opportunity zones were created by The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December; they are intended to spur investment in impoverished and economically distressed areas. 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury reviewed and approved all of the governor’s designations in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is one of 15 states to have opportunity zones designated by the Treasury Department.

 Opportunity zones allow private investors and companies to defer and/or reduce their federal capital gains taxes when they are invested in a qualifying opportunity fund that, in turn, invests in opportunity zones. They will connect private capital to economically distressed areas, which will benefit residents living in the zones, businesses operating in the zones, and the private investor willing to invest in projects that fit their profile.  

 “I appreciate our partnership with the U.S. Department of Treasury in making these designations. The creation of federal opportunity zones will bring new and unique opportunities to both investors and Oklahoma communities,” said Fallin. “Investors have different projects in which they are willing to invest their capital, and it is our intent to provide them with a range of opportunities. With the potential investments in these areas, we hope that poverty will be reduced, our communities will see revitalization, and that the investments will spur job creation. I also want to acknowledge the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for its work in coordinating this effort.” 

 Fallin designated 117 census tracts in Oklahoma, which is the maximum number of opportunity zones allowed by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 for the state of Oklahoma. The 117 opportunity zones are spread across the state, and cover 47 urban and rural counties and touch 30 tribal nations.

 “We are pleased with the representation in the tribal nations,” Oklahoma Secretary of Native American Affairs Chris Benge said. “These tracts will provide a range of opportunities for investors to collaborate with many of the tribal nations and the state of Oklahoma.”

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce collaborated with tribal nations, metropolitan areas, rural communities, economic development professionals, state agencies, and consultants across the state to make the recommendations to the governor. In addition to opportunities for residential redevelopment, there are numerous opportunities for commercial redevelopment, industrial parks, and community development. 

 “Our expectation is that the benefit from these designations will spill over into other census tracts, and will impact development and incomes in nearby neighborhoods as well,said Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Tourism Deby Snodgrass.      

 The Oklahoma Department of Commerce will take an active role promoting investment opportunities in Oklahoma for development to reduce poverty in the state. 

 For more information about the opportunity zones, contact Jon Chiappe, director of research & economic analysis at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce at (405) 815-5210 or at