Buffalo, N.Y., December 10, 2019 — Nationally ranked Top 50 CPA firm The Bonadio Group recently hosted two panel discussions exploring how Qualified Opportunity Zone investing is taking shape both locally and nationally. Moderated by Stephen Turner, Principal, The Bonadio Group, the panel included: Joseph Wutz, Principal, The Bonadio Group; Trevor Torcello, Shareholder, Gross Shuman; Adam Koehn, Director of Business Development, CBRE|Buffalo; Rebecca Gandour, Director of Economic Development, City of Buffalo; Anthony Nanula, Managing Principal, R3 Catalyst Partners; and Nick Sinatra, President, Sinatra & Company Real Estate.
The group discussed trends and strategies they have seen in the opportunity zone space, as well as what they expect to see in additional guidance expected to be released soon. “We’re still in the infancy of the opportunity zone incentive,” said Wutz. “As more guidance is introduced, and more ideas come to light on how to make the incentive work in different situations for all stakeholders, I think we will see more real estate projects and operating businesses utilizing the incentive, particularly in Buffalo and Western New York.”
While the deadline to invest in a qualified opportunity fund and get the maximum benefit is December 31, 2019, the panelists agreed that those considering such an investment should exercise caution and ensure that the project can stand on its own without the qualified opportunity zone incentives. After all, any future guidance issued could potentially make it difficult for a project to qualify for the opportunity zone incentives.
The panelists also agreed that future guidance will likely introduce more stringent reporting requirements for qualified opportunity funds, which many believe would incorporate an element of transparency and accountability into the qualified opportunity zone incentive. The reporting requirements would also make it possible to aggregate data on opportunity zone investing, which could be used to measure the overall success of opportunity zone projects, both individually and as a whole. Advocates for qualified opportunity zone investing believe that over time, successful projects in opportunity zones will breed future successes and impactful change in those communities, with the help of local government and existing incentives.
"The qualified opportunity zone incentive should result in more capital being reinvested into our local communities," Wutz stated. "There are a lot of great projects happening right now in Western New York, and we should expect to see more of the same over time."
The event, held at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, gathered over 70 professionals including accountants, attorneys, developers, business owners, and more. The firm plans to host additional panels throughout New York State as the Opportunity Zone program grows. Subscribe to The Bonadio Group’s newsletter here to learn about all of the firm’s upcoming events: https://www.bonadio.com/newsletter-sign
About The Bonadio Group
Founded in 1978, The Bonadio Group is a nationally ranked Top 50 CPA firm offering accounting, tax, and consulting services to clients of all sizes. The Firm’s professionals deliver practical, proactive, and innovative solutions to help clients reach their financial, compliance, management, and personal goals. The Bonadio Group is the largest independent provider of accounting, tax, and consulting services in upstate New York—with offices in Albany, Batavia, Buffalo, East Aurora, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica. The Bonadio Group also has offices in New York City, Rutland, Vt., and Dallas. For more information, visit www.bonadio.com .
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