Local developers and investors are learning more about a new federal tax incentive meant to spur construction in distressed neighborhoods.

The Agency held a presentation on Opportunity Zones yesterday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Binghamton.

The program was established as part of the federal government’s tax reform legislation and offers developers and investors an opportunity to invest the capital gains they’ve made on other projects and defer paying taxes on those gains.

The catch is that the investment must be approved and within a designated census tract with a high level of poverty.

Deputy Director of The Agency Stacey Duncan says the 6 zones approved in Broome County overlap with other existing programs and investments.

Duncan says this may be another tool that helps to make a large scale development possible. “The community, and the real estate and financial worlds recognize this as a potential very lucrative program for investors. The ability to take that capital gains tax and reinvest it, can be incredibly attractive in a community like ours.”

Duncan says more specific regulations are pending.

In Broome County, 6 zones have been approved.

Two in Binghamton cover the Northside from Binghamton Plaza to the Brandywine Corridor and the 3rd in Binghamton is in the First Ward and includes the Charles Street Business Park.

The two in Endicott cover the downtown area, the Huron Campus and the Northside.

And one in Johnson City is centered around BU’s Health Sciences Campus and Wilson Hospital.