Opportunity Zone

City of Ortonville, MN – on Big Stone Lake

Of the 509 eligible low-income census tracts in Minnesota, Governor Dayton could designate 128 census tracts as Opportunity Zones.  The Ortonville EDA completed the application and sought support from the City and the County to submit Ortonville’s census tract for consideration as an appointment – with success!

Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income and urban communities nationwide.

Opportunity Funds are a new class of private sector investment vehicles authorized to aggregate and deploy private investment into Opportunity Zones.  Opportunity Funds allow U.S. investors holding unrealized gains in stocks and mutual funds to pool their resources in projects located in Opportunity Zones, which will be invested in rebuilding low-income communities.

U.S. investors are eligible to receive:

  • A temporary tax deferral for capital gains invested in an Opportunity Fund.
  • A step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund.
  • A permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains from the sale or exchange of an investment in a qualified opportunity zone fund if the investment is held for at least 10 years.

As the final details of this program have been rolled out, we are excited that the timing is coinciding nicely as we finalize our work with the Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) to address the needs that were identified in the 2018 Housing Study by Maxfield Research & Consulting.

Staff  from both the Ortonville EDA and the Big Stone County Housing & Redevelopment Authority along with a committee have been working with MHP on project planning:

What do we have?  
Community:  Families, youth, vets, seniors, etc.
Resources:  Available land, infrastructure, etc.
What do we want?
Workforce housing rental single family, rehab
What do we need to get what we want? 

The Committee is currently drafting a Request for Proposal (RFP) which will go out to developers.  This Draft RFP will first be taken to the City Council for review and then the Committee plans to host a public meeting for the review of the plans for input/changes before being released.  The housing projects under consideration in the RFP will be Opportunity Zone — project friendly!

Housing Committee Members are:

  • Dalen Roe, Cenbank
  • David Rogers, Ortonville Area Health Services
  • Kristi Ehrenberg, Big Stone Therapies
  • Mary Hillman, Big Stone Lake Area Chamber
  • Garry Swenson, Ortonville EDA
  • Kim Sykora, Ortonville EDA/City Council
  • Nancy Lee, Big Stone County HRA Staff
  • Vicki Oakes, Ortonville EDA Staff

If you’d like more information on the Opportunity Zone and/or preliminary information on the housing projects, please contact Vicki Oakes at 320-839-6155 or email vicki@ortonvilleeda.com