On September 26, 2018, Walter Calvert was quoted in an article in Real Estate Weekly about how investors and developers are ready to spring into the country's many designated Qualified Opportunity Zones as soon as the White House Office of Management and Budget releases proposed regulations for the program from the Treasury Department.
The Qualified Opportunity Zone program, created by last December's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is a simple concept with broad appeal: investment in poor urban areas, lucrative tax breaks to the capital class, and no government spending.
"When the regulations come out there will be a flood of activity coming forward," Mr. Calvert said. "You see a lot of shell websites where people are promoting themselves as qualified investment funds and once those regs come out you’ll see them go live."
Although the rules have not been set, differing ideologies about how these funds should operate have already emerged. Calvert said he sees opportunities for funds of all sorts, ones that focus on specific geographic areas and others that specialize in certain asset types.
Once the OMB releases its version of the regulations, they will be open to public comment and further change. Most new tax laws go through various iterations and can take several years before they're finalized. However, because of the small window, hope is that any added penalties will not be added retroactively.
"One would think they’d have to come out with something we can rely on and if they change in the future they wouldn't penalize people who suddenly aren't compliant," Calvert said. "Seldom does the IRS get these things right on the first draft to the world's satisfaction."