In 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which established the framework for Opportunity Zones (OZs) – a federal designation that encourages investments in distressed communities across the country. In short, investors can defer taxes on profits from investments that are applied toward opportunity funds if they commit to community revitalization efforts for a minimum of 10 years.
As a result of the bill’s passage, 126 census tracts were designated as Opportunity Zones in Colorado. This includes portions of Fremont, Chaffee, Lake, Alamosa and several other rural counties. Looking at Colorado’s Congressional Delegation, support for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a mixed bag.
In the House, Colorado Republicans Scott Tipton, Doug Lamborn, Mike Coffman and Ken Buck all voted in favor – while Democrats Diana Degette, Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter opposed the bill. In the Senate, Senator Michael Bennet joined fellow Democrats in opposition while Cory Gardner fell in line with his Republican colleagues in support of the measure.
Of course there has been several changes to the make-up of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Most notably, Jared Polis who represented Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, won his bid for governor in 2018 and Republican Cory Gardner, who was elected to the Senate in 2014, lost his reelection to former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Additionally, Mike Coffman who represented Colorado’s 6th Congressional District is now the Mayor of Aurora and Scott Tipton, who represented Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, lost his reelection to political newcomer Lauren Boebert during the primaries.
Click here to read more about the future of Opportunity Zones from The Pueblo Chieftain!
Kevin Mahmalji is the founder and principal of Two Rivers Consulting and currently assists Fremont County Economic Development Corporation with strategic planning and communications.