Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, along with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, announced an invitation for cities, counties and communities in eligible areas to apply to be considered for designation as Opportunity Zones. The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains new tax incentives for investments in low-income census tracts with the designation.

Opportunity Zones is a new economic development program established to encourage long-term investments in low-income communities. The program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is designed to provide tax incentives for qualified investors to reinvest unrealized capital gains in low-income communities.

“We need to take advantage of all the tools and resources we have at our disposal to spur economic growth,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I am optimistic that Iowa’s participation in the Opportunity Zones Program will serve as a catalyst for investment and job creation and result in prosperity for Iowa communities statewide.”

The zones will be designated in tracts that meet the Treasury Department’s qualifications for New Market Tax Credits. These are U.S. Census tracts where the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and/or family income is less than 80 percent of the area’s median income. The governor of each state is permitted to designate 25 percent of its “low income census tracts” (LIC) as Opportunity Zones, subject to approval from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Iowa has 239 eligible LICs; 60 will be nominated as Opportunity Zones. Once designated, the tracts will be in place for 10 years.

Cities, counties and communities with eligible LICs in Iowa have been invited to apply by completing the application form available at All applications must be submitted to by 5 p.m. CST on March 19, 2018.

For additional information or questions regarding Iowa’s participation in this program, please visit or contact