Parts of 75 different towns in counties across the Garden State have been designated as Opportunity Zones by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The designation will hopefully spur investors to take advantage of a new and relatively unknown federal program that’s designed to attract capital investment in economically struggling communities.

According to Steve Glickman, the CEO of the Economic Innovation Group, a nonpartisan think tank that came up with the idea for Opportunity Zones, this “takes advantage of the enormous wins that many investors have had investing in the economy over the last decade.”

Glickman explained the program allows investors to roll capital gains into investment vehicles called Opportunity Funds.

“They can use that capital to invest in Opportunity Zones in low-income communities and they can be invested in any asset in those communities,” he said.

“We’re talking about real estate, manufacturing rehab, new businesses, growth businesses, infrastructure, or just about anything else you can think of.”

He noted that "there’s about $6 trillion in these unrealized capital gains sitting with investors across the country.”

Glickman said investors would benefit from doing this by delaying paying taxes on the money rolled into Opportunity Funds until 2026. But the really big incentive is “if they hold their investments in these communities for 10 years or more and they make more money, they don’t have to pay any taxes on those new gains.”

He said the idea is if we target growth in communities that have not benefited from the economic recovery over the past decade, “then they’ll start to grow and develop and create a lot more economic activity, and that will create jobs and sustainable enterprises.”

“It becomes a win-win, investors are making money on a new set of investments they were never looking at before, and the local communities see a new flow of capital that they could never capture before.”

He added this will provide “a new lifeline for places like Camden and Newark and Trenton, that have struggled economically over the last 10 years, and gives them a real shot to bring scalable capital to their communities.”

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., along with Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, sponsored Opportunity Zone legislation that was included in the federal tax-reform overhaul law approved at the end of last year.

The U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS are still working out of the details of the plan but it should be finalized in the next few months.

The following New Jersey municipalities have been submitted to the U.S. Treasury for the Opportunity Zones program:

Atlantic County

Atlantic City
Egg Harbor City
Egg Harbor Twp
Pleasantville
Somers Point

Bergen County

Cliffside Park
Englewood
Fairview
Garfield
Hackensack
Lodi
South Hackensack
Teterboro

Burlington County

Burlington City
Palmyra
Pemberton Twp
Riverside
Willingboro

Camden County

Camden City
Lindenwold
Pennsauken
Pine Hill

Cape May County
Wildwood
West Wildwood
Lower Twp

Cumberland County
Bridgeton
Vineland
Millville

Essex County

East Orange
Irvington
Newark
Orange

Gloucester County

Deptford
Glassboro
Woodbury

Hudson County

Bayonne
Kearny
Jersey City
North Bergen
Union City
West New York

Hunterdon County

Flemington

Mercer County

Trenton
Hamilton

Middlesex County

Carteret
Jamesburg
New Brunswick
Perth Amboy
South River

Monmouth County

Asbury Park
Freehold Borough
Long Branch
Neptune City
Neptune Twp
Red Bank

Morris County

Dover
Wharton Borough

Ocean County

Berkeley
Lakewood
Manchester

Passaic County

Clifton
Passaic City
Paterson
Prospect Park

Salem County

Carney’s Point
Salem City

Somerset County

Bound Brook
North Plainfield

Union County

Elizabeth
Hillside
Plainfield
Linden
Rahway

Warren County

Phillipsburg

The U.S. Department of the Treasury must provide feedback or approve the Governor’s selections by April 22.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com