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Opportunity Zones - Community Assistance

Program Description | Downloads & Related Links | Contact Information | Opportunity Zones | Business Assistance | Designations and Maps

Program Description

The Opportunity Zone designation is a provision under the Job Tax Credit Program, in O.C.G.A. 48-7-40.1(c)(4), which states:
“Any area which is within or adjacent to one or more contiguous census block groups with a poverty rate of 15 percent or greater as determined from data in the most current United States decennial census, where the area is also included within a state enterprise zone pursuant to Chapter 88 of Title 36 or where a redevelopment plan has been adopted pursuant to Chapter 61 of Title 36 and which, in the opinion of the commissioner of community affairs, displays pervasive poverty, underdevelopment, general distress, and blight.”

Local governments interested in an Opportunity Zone designation can use the following tools to assist in determining if the area meets the criteria and, if so, to apply for a designation. First in the process would be to determine if the area meets the poverty criteria detailed above to be considered for an Opportunity Zone designation. The current interactive map of potential Opportunity Zone areas can assist in determining the census block groups in the area under consideration which meet the poverty criteria for the designation. If the poverty criterion is met, then the Opportunity Zone regulations can assist in detailing the additional criteria for designation, as well as clarifying what will be needed to substantiate these criteria for the consideration of an Opportunity Zone designation. Links to the State Enterprise Zone Law and the Redevelopment Plan Law are provided to assist in determining the best redevelopment tool for the area under consideration. The Application Checklist can then provide clarification of what must be submitted when applying for an Opportunity Zone designation. The other links below provide additional information to assist in the process.

Downloads & Related Links

Interactive Map of Potential Opportunity Zone areas for 2015
Opportunity Zone Tax Credit Regulations (PDF)
State Enterprise Zone Law (PDF)
Redevelopment Plan Law (PDF)
Application Checklist (PDF)
How Opportunity is Created (PDF)
Sample Urban Redevelopment Plan - Walton County (PDF)

Annual Report Instructions
Annual Report Form (due from local government on an annual basis no later than January 31st)

To access additional detail on Opportunity Zones, including shapefiles and KML maps for DCA-approved Opportunity Zones, as well as poverty data for census block groups throughout the state, click here and scroll down to the Opportunity Zone Program Maps detail.

For communities which received an Opportunity Zone designation prior to 2013, the Census Block Group detail for those designations was based on 2000 Census boundaries. For assisting a business with the certification of a location within the designated Opportunity Zone, the map with the 2000 Census boundary detail should be utilized so the data matches the designation detail on file with DCA. The interactive Opportunity Zone map for 2012 includes all of the designation detail for the years 2012 and prior. You can access the map here.

Contact Information

Local Communities: to learn more about applying for an Opportunity Zone designation, contact Cherie Bennett at (404) 831-2058, or contact the Economic Development Field Representative in your area for community assistance.

Businesses: to learn more about the Tax Credits available to businesses locating or expanding within a designated Opportunity Zone, contact Tricia DePadro at (404) 679-1585.

Georgia Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30329-2231