U.S. Senators Tim Scott and Cory Booker and U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly and Ron Kind recently introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill reforming and expanding Opportunity Zones, the tax incentive for individuals who reinvest unrealized capital gains into high-impact projects in underserved communities. In this podcast, Shay Hawkins, the President of the Opportunity Funds Association, discusses how this bipartisan legislation would improve Opportunity Zones as well as the effect of inflation on Opportunity Zones transactions and crowdfunding.
Through their members, the Opportunity Funds Association connects capital to overlooked areas, improving lives, creating opportunities, and ensuring long-term economic growth in America’s most vulnerable communities. They are an advocacy, education, and communications organization established to enable Opportunity Fund managers and investors in Opportunity Funds to participate in public policy, share best practices, and communicate the industry’s contributions to distressed rural and urban communities across the country.
As Mr. Hawkins details on the podcast, this new legislation, known as the Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act provides enhancements in the Opportunity Zones program in five major areas. Shay goes through each one and gives you his own personal take on what it all means for the continued success of the program. Then he gets into the inflation aspect and what that means to the Opportunity Zone marketplace in general.
His insights into all of this, including how to expand the program, why and how to get more money into Opportunity Zone Funds, the process of what happens after a bill is introduced, and what the most important parts this new legislation addresses will help you better understand where the OZ program is today and where it’s heading in the future.
As Shay states on the podcast: Opportunity Zone investing doesn’t make a bad deal good, but instead the program is designed to make a good deal great, inflation or no inflation! Questions? Comments? You can reach Shay by email here, or you can visit his website at www.ZoneFunds.org or his social media accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn) for more information.
ABOUT OUR GUEST: Shay Hawkins
Before co-founding the Opportunity Funds Association, Shay Hawkins was the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure and the senior tax and economic policy advisor to Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), a Senate Finance Committee Member.
Shay served as Senator Scott’s lead policy advisor throughout the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). During the legislative process, Shay was the driving force behind the Opportunity Zones provision working with House and Senate Conferees, the White House, and other key stakeholders to ensure its inclusion in the final package. Since enactment, Shay has worked with Treasury to develop implementing regulations for Opportunity Zones that will rapidly deploy capital into distressed urban and rural communities. Shay got his start on Capitol Hill as Legislative Fellow to Representative Jim Renacci, (R-OH 16) where he was part of a team of tax attorneys that developed a comprehensive tax reform plan.
Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Hawkins spent five years as an investment banker at what is now Results International. While with Results International, Hawkins focused on sell-side Mergers and Acquisitions for firms in the Technology, Media, and Telecoms sector.
A native of Cleveland Ohio, Shay started his career as a broker in the online division of what is now Credit Suisse. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from The Ohio State University, his MBA from Columbia Business School as a Credit Suisse First Boston Fellow, and his JD from the Moritz College of Law at OSU.
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