West Virginia Department of Commerce
Enacted as part of the 2017 tax reform package (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), the Opportunity Zones Program gives each state's Governor the authority to designate "Opportunity Zones" or areas of populations that are eligible to receive private investments through Opportunity Funds. The program is designed to drive long lasting investments into rural and low-income urban communities in every U.S. state and territory.
Governors can determine up to 25 percent of the total number of eligible areas to be designated as Opportunity Zones. Low-income census tracts are used to determine eligible areas within each state. Low-income census tracts are places where the individual poverty rate is at least 20 percent or median family income is no greater than 80 percent of the area median. Up to 5 percent of these population areas that are not low-income communities can qualify under an exemption if the median family income of the tract does not exceed 125 percent of the median family income of the low-income community contiguous with the tract.