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How to Make Opportunity Zones Work in Chicago

The Urban Institute looks at how local leaders can get the most out of a new federal program designed to boost investment in struggling neighborhoods.
A new Urban Institute brief looks at efforts to implement opportunity zones in lower-income parts of Chicago.
A new Urban Institute brief looks at efforts to implement opportunity zones in lower-income parts of Chicago.Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Opportunity Zones! Are they good or bad?

The answer to that question may depend in part on whether or not you buy the premise that tax incentives are the most effective way to successfully uplift economically depressed areas. And even if you do, at this moment, a lot hinges on the final rules governing the program, which was unveiled as part of the 2017 tax reform as a way to lure investment to neglected neighborhoods and left-behind cities. It also depends on exactly how local governments choose to implement it.