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Opportunity Zone-Related Legislation

Below is a list of California legislation related to Opportunity Zones.

Legislation from the 2019-20 Legislative Session

AB 114 (Aguiar-Curry) Technical Changes to Timber Pilot Projects

This bill requires the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) to create a scoping plan for the state to meet its organic waste management mandates, goals and targets.  The bill also makes technical changes the pilot projects on innovative forest products which are to be located in Opportunity Zones, pursuant to AB 2518 from the 2017-18 Session.  Status:  Held in the Assemply Appropriations Committee, May 2019.

AB 742 (Cervantes) Place Based Economic Strategies

This bill establishes the Office of Place-Based Economic Strategies within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for the purpose of supporting place-based and other geographically targeted economic development programs, including Opportunity Zones and Promise Zones.  This is part of the JEDE Committee’s four-bill package related to Opportunity Zones.  Status:  Held in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, May 2019.

AB 791 (Gabriel) Opportunity Zones Housing Credit

This bill provides a $100 million credit to maintain affordable housing units located in Opportunity Zones and establishes a setaside within the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program to encourage the development of low-income housing units in Opportunity Zones.  Status:  Held in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, May 2019.

AB 1259 (L. Rivas, Cervantes, and E. Garcia) California New Markets Tax Credit

This bill authorizes a New Market Tax Credit for qualified business investments in low-income communities beginning in year 2020.  The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development is tasked to administer the program.  The bill authorizes $100 million to be awarded annually.  This is part of the JEDE Committee’s four-bill package related to Opportunity Zones.  Status:  Held in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, May 2019.

AB 1479 (Cervantes) Opportunity Zone Credit Enhancement

This bill establishes a credit enhancement program through the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank for projects located in an Opportunity Zone that meet certain social, economic, and environmental criteria, including creating wealth and asset building within the local community.  This is part of the JEDE Committee’s four-bill package related to Opportunity Zones.  Status:  Held in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, May 2019.

AB 1726 (Cervantes) Work Opportunity Tax Credit

This bill establishes the California Work Opportunity Tax Credit (CalWOTC), which would have authorized a credit under the personal income tax and the corporate tax of up to 40% of a qualified worker's wages, not to exceed $2,400 per employee.  Eligible new hires include individuals from groups which has historically been underserved, including veterans, disabled individuals, and individuals who access public assistance.  This is part of the JEDE Committee’s four-bill package related to Opportunity Zones.  Status:  Held in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, May 2019.

AB 1873 (Assembly Natural Resources) State Board of Foresry and Fire Protection

This bill makes a number of technical changes to the statute affecting the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, including the pilot projects on innovative forest products which are to be located in Opportunity Zones, pursuant to AB 2518 from the 2017-18 Session.  Status:  Pending on the Inactive File of the Senate.

SB 25 (Caballero and Glazer) Expedited Judicial Review Under CEQA

This bill establishes expedited judicial review procedures under the California Environmental Quality Act for projects financed in whole or in part by a “qualified opportunity fund” or other specified means and meeting other specified conditions, requiring the courts to resolve lawsuits within 270 days, to the extent feasible.  Status:  Two year bill, pending in the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources.

SB 315 (Hertzberg) California Opportunity Fund

This bill enacts the California Opportunity Zone Authority Act, which creates the California Opportunity Fund, and conforms, with certain modifications, to the federal treatment of capital gains that are invested in an Opportunity Zone.  The bill also requires the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development to collect information on certain investments in Opportunity Zones.  Status:  Two year bill, pending in the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation. 

SB 635 (Hueso) - Gross Income Exclusion for Opportunity Zones

This bill conforms state tax law to federal law for investments made in opportunity zones designated in California, effective in 2019 taxable year 2019.  Status:  Held in the Senate Appropriations Committee, May 2019.

Legislation from 2017-18 Session

AB 1445 (Reyes) Opportunity Zone Reporting

This bill requires a qualified Opportunity Fund to provide specified information when engaging in any transaction for the sale or lease of a qualified Opportunity Zone business property which is owned by the city or county that is located within a designated qualified Opportunity Zone.  This information includes:  (1) A timeline for completion of the investment activity on the property; (2) An estimation of the number of jobs that will be created as a result of the investment activity on the property; and (3) A summary of local workforce utilization strategies that will be employed as part of the investment activity on the property.
Status:  Signed by the Governor, Chapter 380, Statutes of 2018.

AB 2518 (Aguiar-Curry) Innovative Forest Products

This bill requires the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to identify and make recommendations on how to mitigate barriers to in-state production of mass timber and other innovative forest products.  Further, the Department is required to develop a plan that proposes:

  • The development of a mass timber production facility, located within 30 miles of two actively producing lumber mills than can provide feedstock, as specified.
  • The development of three computer numeric control (CNC) machining operations that have the capability of cutting mass timber panels, as specified.  At least one of the facilities is required to be co-located with the mass timber production facility noted above.  The two other CNC machining operations may be located elsewhere, to the extent that the location meets the following three criteria: (1) The location is a former mill site, as specified; (2) The location is not more than 25 miles from an area impacted by a large landscape fire, as specified; and (3) The location is in or adjacent to a community designated as an Opportunity Zone, or has an average household income of 5% below the state's median household income.
  • The development of two schools and two fire stations that will be constructed, to the maximum extent practicable, with mass timber.  
    Status:  Signed by the Governor, Chapter 637, Statutes of 2018.

AB 3030 (Caballero) CEQA Exemption for Opportunity Fund Investments

This bill exempts from the California Environmental Quality Act residential and mixed-use projects with 50% affordable housing that are financed by a "qualified Opportunity Fund" and meet other specified criteria. 
Status:  Held in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, 2018.

SB 635 (Hueso) Office of Geographically-Targeted Economic Development

This bill establishes the Office of Geographically-Targeted Economic Development within the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development for the purpose of assisting local communities to become private investment ready, as well as to access state resources to meet economic development needs. 
Status:  Signed by the Governor, Chapter 888, Statutes of 2018.

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