Oregon Could Trim Opportunity Zones Tax Break

The federal opportunity zones program is a double benefit in the state of Oregon, and legislators are wondering if the program is more effective in setting up tax havens than delivering investments in underserved areas.

2 minute read

January 19, 2020, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


JPL Designs / Shutterstock

"Oregon lawmakers will consider trimming a controversial capital gains tax break when they convene in Salem next month," reports Hillary Borrud.

The capital gains tax in question is the opportunity zones program initiated by the GOP tax reform bill of 2017.

"At issue is whether the opportunity zone program…truly incentivizes redevelopment in blighted areas or is gravy for investors in projects that would happen even without the incentive," according to Borrud.

The deployment of the program in Oregon attracted multiple instances of press attention in 2019. As Elliot Njus explained in February 2019: "Though the opportunity zone program is national, Oregon will feel the tax impact thanks to the state’s own tax code. It automatically mirrors the federal one, so Oregon is effectively offering the same discount a second time on Oregon tax bills."

Now Democratic legislators in Oregon are considering how to trim back that tax break. "House Bill 4010, introduced during an interim hearing Monday, would end the state tax break and require state economists to study the federal program’s effectiveness," according to Borrud. "They would report back to the Legislature by November on whether Oregon should reinstate some form of the state opportunity zone tax break."

News about the state of Oregon's actions to trim Opportunity Zones emerge the same week that the Acting U.S. Treasury Inspector General Richard Delmar announced an investigation of the program at the request of several members of Congress. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 in The Oregonian

Aerial view of snowy single-family homes in suburban Long Island, New York

New York Governor Advances Housing Plan Amid Stiff Suburban Opposition

Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious proposal to create more housing has once again run into a brick wall of opposition in New York’s enormous suburbs, especially on Long Island. This year, however, the wall may have some cracks.

March 20, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Empty parking garage at night with yellow lines marking spots and fluorescent lighting

Rethinking the Role of Parking in the American City

In cities big and small, the tide is turning against sprawling parking lots, car-centric development, and minimum parking mandates.

March 16, 2023 - The New York Times

A futuristic version of New York City, with plants growing neatly on top of modern skycrapers.

Friday Eye Candy: 20 AI-Generated Cityscapes

AI-generated images are creating new landscapes and cityscapes, capable of inspiring awe or fear.

March 17, 2023 - Chris Steins via Medium

Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge

Panel: Minneapolis Zoning Updates Should Reflect Mixed-Use Future

A discussion of post-pandemic changes in work and commuting concluded that the city’s overhaul of its zoning code should be less restrictive with land uses.

31 minutes ago - MinnPost

Bike Light

People on Bikes Outnumber Drivers in the City of London

The City of London’s efforts to increase biking and reduce driving has finally achieved a long-term goal: a preference for biking over driving.

1 hour ago - Forbes

Aerial view of farmers' market with white booths in downtown Boise, Idaho

Planners Look to ‘Activity Centers’ for Sustainable Development

Existing hubs of ‘hyperlocal’ economic activity provide a model for urban density.

March 23 - Smart Cities Dive

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.