City zoning map


Join this Local Government Education event as presenters discuss Opportunity Zone program updates and demonstrate partnership strategies Illinois communities are using to successfully breathe life into struggling economies.

Economically-distressed census tracts, designated as Opportunity Zones under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, provide an incentivized avenue for taxpayers to contribute to long-term economic growth in underserved areas. Illinois houses 327 federally recognized Opportunity Zones (OZ) throughout the state in both urban and rural areas. Taxpayers who invest capital gains in a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) for long-term development in these traditionally low-income tracts can become eligible for certain tax benefits, including deferments, reductions, and exemptions.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact Nancy Ouedraogo, organizer and Extension specialist, at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting needs.

About the presenters:

Mike Pomerantz, real estate and tax incentive administrator with Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, focuses efforts on helping Illinois make use of the Federal Opportunity Zone Program, as well as developing and maintaining relationships with the site selector industry. Prior to joining DCEO, Mike engaged in commercial real estate development and served in the administrations of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.

Shelly Piao is a master student and Illinois Extension graduate research assistant at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She earned her bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Hong Kong, and previous research in biofuel development, water resources, and volunteering experiences in rural China brought her interest in rural community development. Piao has engaged with Spoon River Partnership for Economic Development and Greater Peoria EDC in exploring Rural Communities Utilization of Opportunity Zone programming and has worked closely with community development organizations to develop and deliver rural OZ support systems for the Illinois cities of Canton and Havana.