Tennessee prepares to use tax breaks to aid 'Opportunity Zones'

FILE - In this April 30, 2018, file photo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Mnuchin said Sunday, May 20, that the United States and China are stepping back from a possible trade trade war between the world’s two biggest economies after two days of talks that he said had produced “meaningful progress.” (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Tennessee's economic development agency is sponsoring training programs across the state next month to help investors, developers and community groups to use new tax incentives Congress adopted at the end of last year to encourage investments in targeted, low-income areas.

Within 8,700 "Opportunity Zones" certified this year across the country, including 176 zones in Tennessee, capital gains invested in the designated areas will be exempt from being taxed through the end of 2026, or when any investment is sold, whichever comes first. Any gains from the fund are permanently shielded from taxes if the investment is held for 10 years. In addition, the initial investment will be discounted by up to 15 percent for tax purposes after seven years.

The tax breaks are designed to encourage multifamily housing, industrial development, brownfield redevelopment, retail development and a variety of other business and building projects in the areas selected earlier this year by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, based upon county recommendations.