On Wednesday, February 5, Barnes Dennig (BD) and Buechner Haffer Myers & Koenig (BHMK) hosted a panel discussion on Opportunity Zones. In an intimate, small group setting, our attendees were able to hear useful information, personal stories and some nationally recognized news from our panelists, which included:

Brian Redden kicked off the discussions with some background on Opportunity Zones (OZ), beginning with a high-level overview of the statutory text and final regulations of OZs.  The panel then went beyond the numbers and focused on the benefits of Opportunity Zones and how those OZ Investments provide more than just tax savings.

Mick & Jenny Wilz shared their firsthand experiences with the group on how their OZ Investments impacted their life and helped a community near and dear to their heart – Brookville, Indiana.  If you ever get a chance to visit Brookville, IN check out their ‘ThirdPlace Tavern’ and experience the OZ investment firsthand!

Jennifer Wesselman then took a deeper dive into the technical aspects of investing in Opportunity Zones.  Guests looked at the tax benefits of deferring capital gains and how investing these gains into Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds work.

Michael Hiles rounded out the panel discussion sharing his experiences of OZ Investments.  He is a business executive with multiple startups and early-stage companies, and he helpfully explained that OZ Investments could be more than merely investing in Real Estate.  Potential OZ investors have the opportunity to invest capital gains into start-up businesses located inside an Opportunity Zone.  Invested funds into startups could potentially create a tax-free investment if the company were to have a big IPO event down the road.

To conclude, Jenny Wilz shared a quote she is passionate about – “Legacy.  What is a legacy?  It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” (Hamilton: An American Musical).  Remember that Opportunity Zones are more than just tax savings; these investments help brighten the community closest to your heart.

For more information on these topics or if you’d like to watch the playback recording of this event, contact Jennifer Wesselman and Cheryl Ganim at Barnes Dennig here.