Legal Blog

Philly Developers Start Cashing in on Trump Tax Break, as ‘Opportunity Zone’-Funded Projects Advance

With the recent introduction of proposed rules governing the application of “opportunity zones,” developers are better equipped to take advantage of this attractive tax strategy. Here’s a recent article about its use in Philadelphia.



As Published in The Philly Inquirer

by Jacob Adelman


Philadelphia is in store for its first smattering of construction projects funded by investors who want to cash in on a provision in the 2017 tax bill meant to encourage development in low-income communities.

At least five projects across the city — in Brewerytown, Francisville, Germantown, and Kensington — are soon to break ground with the backing of groups that plan to use the developments’ location inside so-called opportunity zones to claim potentially big savings on what they owe the IRS.

Coming more than a year after President Donald Trump signed his tax bill into law, the projects represent a modest start toward what his administration has said could equate to more than $100 billion in investment into disadvantaged communities nationwide.

Under the 2017 legislation, people and companies owing tax on investment income can put off paying those levies for up to seven years by directing the earnings into real estate ventures or other businesses set up in low-income areas designated as opportunity zones.

Investors also qualify for reductions of those deferred taxes if they keep their money parked in the ventures long enough, with the biggest breaks going to those who stay invested for the full seven years.

And once 10 years pass, investors can sell their stakes in opportunity zone projects or businesses without being taxed at all on gains from that transaction.

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Edward DeLisle concentrates on federal contracting, small business procurement, construction law, and construction litigation. He has drafted and negotiated teaming agreements, joint venture agreements, and construction contracts and subcontracts. He also actively monitors the progress of his clients’ contracts as outside general counsel in order to safeguard those rights and remedies to which they are entitled. In addition to litigating, arbitrating, and mediating complex construction and procurement cases in various jurisdictions and forums throughout the region, Mr. DeLisle assists companies—both foreign and domestic—in international disputes involving the US government. He is currently representing clients on matters involving Department of Defense work in Afghanistan and has done similar work for clients in Israel and Eastern Europe.

Ed counsels clients in all aspects of small business procurement. He has assisted clients in obtaining certification as small and small disadvantaged businesses at the municipal, state and federal level. He has participated in bid protests involving Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned, HUBZone and 8(a) set-aside contracts and regularly assists with responding to best-value procurements at the state and federal level. Ed also assists companies, both foreign and domestic, in international disputes involving the United States





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