bigstock-Pipeline-welder-working-on-con-18184799 WEB636552846720371773

Opportunity Zones Confirmed 

The U.S. Treasury Department has approved Montana's 25 Opportunity Zones as nominated by Governor Steve Bullock. 

In April 2018, Bullock nominated 25 areas of Montana for designation as an Opportunity Zone, after communities submitted proposals for consideration.

During the coming months, additional information will be released from the U.S. Treasury about this program as it is being developed. 

Here is the list of confirmed Census tracts. 



Billings, City of


Bozeman, City of


Butte, City of


Great Falls, City of


Helena, City of


Kalispell, City of


Missoula, City of


Blackfeet Indian Reservation


Crow Indian Reservation


Flathead Indian Reservation


Fort Belknap Indian Reservation


Fort Peck Indian Reservation


Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation


Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation


Red Lodge, City of


Lewistown, City of


Libby, City of


Shelby, City of


Thompson Falls, City of


Meagher County/White Sulphur Springs


Wheatland County


Miles City, City of


Anaconda, City of


Hamilton, City of


Mineral County



While only 25 tracts were allowed by the U.S. Treasury to be designated as Opportunity Zones, there may be resources available at Commerce to help you with activities based on the information and indication of the needs that you have in your community. Commerce would like to continue the conversation related to these activities and needs by offering to schedule a meeting to further discuss how we can help your community. Please send an email or call 406.841.2770 to schedule a conference call with our team at Commerce.

What is an Opportunity Zone?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established a new economic development program called Opportunity Zones designed to encourage long-term private investments in low-income communities. The program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into “Opportunity Funds,” which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in low-income areas called “Opportunity Zones.” 

The zones themselves are to be comprised of Low-Income Community Census tracts and designated by governors in every state and territory. The program has the potential to direct private capital toward distressed communities and serve as a catalyst for long-term, inclusive economic development. This may include downtown revitalization, workforce development, affordable housing, infrastructure, and business startup and expansion.  

Note: The U.S. Department of the Treasury has not completed it’s rulemaking on this program at this time and there have been periodic updates. All maps, lists and resources provided by the Montana Department of Commerce are for planning and application purposes only, and may be subject to change based upon final ruling. Additionally, the Montana Department of Commerce reserves the right to revise information contained on this website based upon changes to the federal regulations governing the program. Please check back to this page frequently for updates.


The State of Montana’s Role

The Governor of Montana may nominate up to 25 eligible Low-Income Community Census tracts for Opportunity Zone designation within the state. Census tracts are small, relatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county with population sizes between 1,200 and 8,000. Their primary purpose is to provide a stable set of geographic units for the presentation of statistical data.

The State of Montana has 270 total census tracts. (Note that Opportunity Zones are defined by Census tracts, not by city or county boundaries. However, some census tracts in rural Montana may cover an entire county because of low population.) Of these tracts, 106* have been identified as Low-Income-Communities (LIC) based on the following criteria:


  • Tracts in which the poverty rate is at least 20 percent
  • or tracts in which the median family income does not exceed 80 percent of the statewide median family income if located outside of a metropolitan area
  • or tracts in which the median family income does not exceed 80 percent of the statewide median family income or the metropolitan area median family income, whichever is higher. 

*When determining the number of eligible Census tracts, the Montana Department of Commerce used data and maps from the CDFI Fund web page and the Opportunity360 web page. Due to slight data inconsistency, and intermittent and ongoing changes to the Opportunity Zone program at the federal level, this eligibility number may change.The Montana Department of Commerce has based the 106 eligible tracts on the Opportunity360 data set, updated as of March 1, 2018.

301 S PARK AVENUE | PO BOX 200523 | HELENA, MT 59620-0523 | P: 406.841.2770 | F: 406.841.2771 | TDD: 406.841.2702