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Viktor Simco is the associate director of investments at Paloma Realty Partners in Venice, CA.

While still very much in its infancy, we are approaching the first year mark on the release of the $1.5 trillion tax cut signed by President Trump. Since its inception, an often overlooked section on page 130 has been gaining more traction with venture capitalists, state government officials, individual investors, and family offices alike. The provision unveils the 8,700 ‘Opportunity Zones’ around America with an average poverty rate of 32% and unemployment rate of 13%. This initiative hopes to be rejuvenate these designated tracts by providing tax incentives and deferred capital gains for long-term investors. This program was kickstarted to address the deeply uneven economic recovery from the Great Recession. About 10% of the U.S. population lives in an Opportunity Zone and less than one quarter of U.S. counties had gained back the number of businesses they lost to the recession. These demarcated areas range from parts of New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., some rural areas and the entire US territory of Puerto Rico. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently predicted the zones will attract over $100 billion in private capital, yet multiple uncertainties remain unresolved. “This is the biggest initiative of this type by the federal government with the least debate, the least staff support, the least research and still the least clarity,” says Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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