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Harnessing the power of Opportunity Zones to transform Alabama

Opportunity Alabama (or OPAL) is a first-of-its-kind nonprofit initiative dedicated to connecting investors with investable assets in Alabama’s Opportunity Zones – 158 Census tracts chosen by Governor Kay Ivey as places that could benefit from a new influx of capital. OPAL will become the catalyst for bringing investors, opportunities, communities and key institutional supporters together to generate real returns while improving economic vitality and quality of life.

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Understanding Opportunity Zones

Enacted as part of the tax reform package that was signed into law in December 2017, the Opportunity Zones program is a new tool that allows individuals and corporations to take capital gain incurred from the sale or exchange of property – appreciated stocks, buildings, family businesses, and more – and roll the gain into businesses or projects located within Opportunity Zones.

With that investment comes tax benefits:

01

Tax deferral on gains you roll into an Opportunity Fund (until 2026 at the latest).

02

Tax reduction (up to 15%) on gains rolled into your Opportunity Fund.

03

No tax on appreciation of your investment if you “cash out” of your Opportunity Fund after 10+ years.

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Alabama’s 158 Opportunity Zones


Alabama has identified and selected 158 Opportunity Zones with each of our 67 counties having at least one designated zone. The selected zones were chosen objectively from 629 qualifying census tracts. The selected tracts average between 1,200 and 8,000 in population and vary in size from 199 acres to 235,352 acres.

57%

91 tracts have an anchor institution like a university, hospital, airport or military base

52%

82 tracts have easy access to an interstate exit

60%

95 tracts have a downtown area or neighborhood commercial district

0

average population of an Opportunity Zone

0%

average poverty rate of an Opportunity Zone

$0

median family income of an Opportunity Zone

Major Cities with Largest Number of Zones

Birmingham

26 tracts

Mobile

14 tracts

Montgomery

12 tracts

What We Do

Opportunity Zones present investors with strong potential tax benefits and have generated a lot of attention within the investor community. However, we believe that for this program to reach its full potential here in Alabama, someone needs to dig the channels that will connect national and local capital to the right investment opportunities in each of our 67 counties. That effort will require a committed team of developers, entrepreneurs, investors, lenders, communities, professionals, and institutional supporters willing to work together. We plan to rally that team and take a data-driven approach to making Alabama the centerpiece of the national conversation about how the Opportunity Zone program can work to create prosperity for all.

As a nonprofit organization, we plan to make Opportunity Zone investment in Alabama smarter, easier, and more resilient by:

We are working with a network of developers, entrepreneurs, banks and other institutions to find the best investable opportunities across Alabama. We are also working with local officials and community leaders to help steer opportunities toward the places that need them.

We are working with corporations, high net worth individuals, and intermediaries to building local, state, and national capital pipelines. We help projects meet capital and capital meet projects – then get out of the way and let you close your deals.

Investments appreciate when communities improve. OPAL will work with community leaders to put the right development strategies in place to ensure that projects and communities can thrive together. From developing incentive policies and expedited permitting processes to engaging residents as patrons and employees, OPAL plans to facilitate long-term connections between OZ investments and the places they support.

We believe that the long-term viability of the Opportunity Zone program is tied to how well we can demonstrate positive community outcomes. OPAL will work with projects, funds, and communities to help track where investments are going and how those investments are affecting people and communities – all using a template we hope will become the national benchmark for measuring OZ performance.

The Opportunity Zone program presents a once-in-a-generation chance to have conversations about creating local ecosystems to fund local projects and make a positive impact. Join us in developing that conversation across Alabama.

Contact Us

Get more information on OPAL, including how to join the initiative.