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Opportunity Zones

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Tax incentive for investors.

  • Merced has seven Opportunity Zones.

  • Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives to individual investors who reinvest capital gains in new developments or businesses.

  • Deferral of existing capital gains tax and and stepped forgiveness of additional gains at 5, 7 and 10 years, through basis increases.

contact economic development staff at 209-385-6827

Merced's seven Opportunity Zones

Map showing opportunity zones
Zone Description
Census Tract 13.01

Downtown, residential, commercial, office, government, transportation hub, university

Census Tract 13.02

Downtown, residential, commercial, office, government

Census Tract 14.01

Residential, office, commercial, hospitality

Census Tract 15.01

Industrial, airport, residential, sports complex, government, future industrial

Census Tract 16.01

Medical, office, residential, heavy commercial

Census Tract 16.02

Residential, ag, future industrial

Census Tract 17.00

Hospitality, mixed use, commercial, office, residential, neighbor commercial

Merced's seven Opportunity Zones are located in the southern portion of the city. They are identified by Census Tract.

Source (and interactive map): California Dept. of Finance.

What are Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives to individuals who reinvest capital gains in new developments or businesses through a Qualified Opportunity Fund. Federal legislation created Opportunity Zones to promote investment in low-income census tracts.

Advantages to investors:

  • Tax deferral on prior capital gains until investment is sold or exchanged or Dec. 31 2026.

  • Basis value increases by 10% and 15% respectively for investments sold after 5 or 7 years.

  • Basis value becomes equal to fair market value of investment at the time of sale if investment is held for at least 10 years.

Visit the IRS or California Portal for the latest information.

Learn more about IRS Opportunity Zone Regulations here.

graphic showing opportunity zone investment over time

How the zones promote economic growth in Merced

Individual Investors. Individuals can defer or reduce capital gains taxes (see chart below) by reinvesting their gains in a Qualified Opportunity Fund which, in turn, invests in an Opportunity Zone, or self-certify with the IRS for investment in the Opportunity Zone.

Developers. Developers can seek investment by an Opportunity Fund for residential, commercial or industrial projects in an eligible Opportunity Zone. 

Business Owners. Businesses operating in Opportunity Zones can seek investors through Opportunity Funds.

Check the IRS for the latest Opportunity Zone rules. Information is also available from the State of California.

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