In the News

Opportunity Zones Explored at NJBIZ Panel Discussion


June 11, 2019

Steven Kamen, Co-Chair of the Sills Cummis & Gross Corporate Practice Group, was a featured panelist at the NJBIZ “The Potential of Opportunity Zones” panel discussion on June 11. 

As seen in this article “Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zone program is designed to spur economic development by providing preferential tax treatment for investments in certain areas. The federal government has approved zones in 75 municipalities and 169 census tracts in New Jersey. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker was a sponsor of legislation creating the federal Opportunity Zones, several of which are in Newark.

“The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act states that: ‘Opportunity Funds must hold at least 90 percent of their assets in Qualified Opportunity Zone stock, partnership interests, or business property. To receive tax deferrals, capital gains must be reinvested in Qualified Opportunity Funds within 180 days of the date of sale or exchange producing the gains. Tax deferrals last until December 31, 2026, after which the Opportunity Zone program will end absent reauthorization by Congress.’

“Steven Kamen, member and co-chair of the corporate practice group at law firm Sills Cummis & Gross, explained that leased properties can be used for opportunity zones.

“‘Landowners are selling land,’ Kamen said. ‘Developers are looking to sponsor individual projects. I have met investment advisors who are working with clients. There is so much excitement because it comes from so many different angles.’

 “‘You have to capitalize your product,’ Kamen said. ‘Your challenge is making sure investors have access to capital. … Imagine you are a developer. How do I orchestrate that in a 10-year hold? … The emphasis is on timing, timing, and timing.’

“‘You have to create a reason for the project,’ Kamen said. ‘This is a matrix for a lot of regulation.’”