A recent report by the Tax Foundation gives the ins and outs of Opportunity Zones as we start rolling through the new year. They remind readers to consider “what we know, as well as what we don’t.” Interestingly, they point out that the program will attract at least some investment to low-income census tracts designated as zones but they suggest these investments may come at an unspecified economic cost. Going forward they suggest policymakers should emphasize data collection in order to measure the the program’s effects – good and bad.
“…future rounds of opportunity zone regulations will likely include reporting requirements that would allow economists to evaluate program impacts. The White House has also created an Opportunity and Revitalization Council that will, among other things, assess ‘what data, metrics, and methodologies can be used to measure the effectiveness of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities, including qualified opportunity zones.'”