The U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service have approved Tennessee's nomination of 176 Opportunity Zones.

Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Economic Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced the news Saturday.

According to the Department of Economic and Community Development, "Opportunity Zones are a new community development tool established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017."

Opportunity Zones are "designed to drive long-term capital into low-income communities."

"This new law provides a federal tax incentive for investors to re-invest their capital gains into Opportunity Funds, which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in designated low-income areas."

In the Tennessee Valley, there are multiple qualified Opportunity Zone tracts. In Hamilton County, there are seven. In McMinn, there are two. Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Marion, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie each have one.

“This is an exciting day for Tennessee as we announce the approved Opportunity Zones for our state,” Haslam said. “As part of the Opportunity Zone benefit, communities across Tennessee will be better equipped to succeed. Tennessee’s 176 Opportunity Zones are dispersed across all three of Tennessee’s grand divisions, and I look forward to seeing how this program will transform our communities and Tennessee as a whole.”

To learn more about the Opportunity Zones, visit the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development's website.