Governor Newsom and California State Legislature were unfortunately unable to reach agreement on a proposed state-level framework for opportunity zones in time for passage in the 2019 legislative session.
California’s position stands in stark contrast to the rest of the country. At present, 46 of 50 U.S. states have adopted some form of full or partial tax conformity. Many Governors and State Legislatures have implemented even more robust policy packages to further accelerate quality opportunity fund investments into their low-income communities. In nearly all of these cases, state policy efforts have enjoyed broad bipartisan political support, including from labor unions, housing advocates, and other organizations whose California counterparts opposed Governor Newsom’s plan.
Fortunately, despite these setbacks, there are reasons for hope. The Governor’s Office has indicated plans to reintroduce opportunity zone legislation in 2020. California’s opportunity zone ecosystem continues to grow, with inspiring work taking root in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the state. Our CalOZ coalition reflects that growth and dynamism, with 50+ public, private, philanthropic, and civic organizations engaged in our mission to maximize the transformative potential of opportunity zones in California.
In the coming days and weeks, we’ll take stock of the 2019 effort, gather intel and feedback from diverse OZ stakeholders, and begin mapping out a course of action into 2020. State policy work will remain a key priority, alongside our other initiatives to support funds, projects, public agencies, philanthropies and communities engaged in California’s 879 opportunity zones.
As always, thank you for your support and partnership. We are available at your convenience should you have any questions or comments.
Kunal Merchant, President and Co-Founder, CalOZ
Dave Smith, Co-Founder, CalOZ