Bexar County is home to 24 opportunity zones, where investors are eligible for tax incentives if they invest in these areas. The zones are marked by a lower household median income than the county average. This makes potential investments more important.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, an Opportunity Zone is intended to "promote economic growth and create jobs in low-income communities by providing tax incentives to investors." Investors are encouraged to invest in low-income and distressed areas. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created the zones.
The city of San Antonio Economic Development Department combined the 24 census tracts that are designated as Opportunity Zones into nine zones. The areas, which are scattered around the county have similar characteristics. These include low household median incomes and a large percentage of the population living below the poverty level.
Bexar County has a median income of $62,169 according to estimates from the American Community Survey 2021. The median household income in all 24 census tracts that are highlighted as Opportunity Zones is at least $20,000 lower than the county average.
One out of 24 census tracts has less than 15 percent of its population living below poverty level. Census Tract 9800.02 is the only exception, an industrial zone behind St. Phillips College's Southwest Campus.
Census Tract 1106 has the lowest median household income in any Opportunity Zone of the city. This tract is in the Near West Side Opportunity Zone, where the median household income is $11,351, with 67% of its population living below the poverty level. This area is located along the western side I-35 until it reaches the I-10 bend just north of W. Poplar Street.
Census Tract 1101 in the Downtown Opportunity Zone has a median household income $36,880. Census Tract 1101, located in Downtown Opportunity Zone, has a median income of $36,880. The next highest census tract on the basis of median income is almost $10,000 lower.
Estimated population for the 24 census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones is 94,771. The investment in these communities with low incomes is meant to have a positive impact on the nearly 100,000 people living in poverty.