Burchett, Cuellar look to extend Opportunity Zone program

February 11, 2021
Press Release
Bill would extend program to 2028, provide opportunity to invest in communities impacted by COVID-19

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 11, 2021) – Today, U.S. Representatives Tim Burchett (TN-02) and Henry Cuellar (TX-28) introduced the Opportunity Zone Extension Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation would extend the Opportunity Zones program, which was created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, until the end of 2028.

“The Opportunity Zones program was making a difference in East Tennessee communities and underserved areas around the country before the COVID-19 pandemic rocked our economy,” Rep. Burchett said. “Extending this program would give investors additional time to provide meaningful financial support to businesses and create quality, good paying jobs in Opportunity Zones.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating in historic ways to already vulnerable communities,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar. “This critical legislation will help stimulate economic growth, job creation, and provide support to underdeveloped communities. Through this legislation we will be able to help accelerate our economy’s recovery from the pandemic. I am committed to making sure everyone has access to opportunity and can achieve the American dream.”

Currently, the Opportunity Zones program allows participating investors to defer taxes on capital gains that are invested in designated Opportunity Zones until the end of 2026. Rep. Burchett’s and Rep. Cuellar’s bill extends this date and allows capital gains to be deferred until the end of 2028.

Opportunity Zones are located in economically distressed areas across the United States. Before the pandemic, Opportunity Zones generated an estimated $52 billion in new investment and created half a million jobs. These are the same areas that have been hit hardest by the recent economic downturn.

Extending the Opportunity Zones program by two years will attract private sector investment in underserved communities, building on pre-pandemic success and helping them come back stronger than before.