19 Organizations, 6 Unions Ask NYS to Stop Subsidizing Trump’s “Opportunity Zone” Boondoggle


19 Advocacy Groups and Six Unions Urge New York State To Stop
Subsidizing Trump’s Opportunity Zone Real Estate Tax Breaks

Trump “Opportunity Zones” Boondoggle Siphons Millions from NY City and State
While Public Services Suffer

Groups Support Gianaris/Dinowitz Opportunity Zone Tax Break Elimination Act

State legislators, advocacy groups and unions are calling for the passage of the Opportunity Zone Tax Break Elimination Act to end the hundreds of millions of dollars New York taxpayers are providing to real estate developers investing in federally designated Opportunity Zones.

New York’s historic budget crisis is forcing the state and localities to make painful cuts. Agencies’  shrinking budgets may result in hundreds of layoffs across the state, while New York’s unemployment rate is currently the fifth highest in the entire nation.

New York cannot continue to lose revenue to Trump real estate tax cuts while millions continue to suffer. The state must pass State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz’s Opportunity Zone Tax Break Elimination Act (S1195/A5701), which would decouple New York’s capital gains tax code from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and save New York billions.

Extensive coverage of Opportunity Zones in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News has revealed the program to be a boondoggle and taxpayer giveaway to wealthy and politically connected real estate developers. Reinvent Albany details the OZ program in our Memo of Support for the Gianaris/Dinowitz legislation.

President Trump Is The Biggest Cheerleader for Opportunity Zones
My admin has done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln. [We] passed Opportunity Zones …
-June 2, 2020 tweet from @realDonaldTrump

Criminal justice reform: Obama couldn’t do it. I got it done …  If you look at all of the Opportunity Zones — they’re inner-city Opportunity Zones, almost all of them.  African American.
-July 31, 2019 remarks by President Trump After Marine One Arrival

Journalists Document What OZs Really Are
Opportunity Zones are a new federal program that developers see as one of the great tax-avoidance programs ever created in this country.
The Real Deal, October 24, 2018

[Opportunity Zones are] a once-in-a-generation bonanza for elite investors.
-The New York Times, August 31, 2019

Conservative Policy Experts Oppose Opportunity Zones
Opportunity Zones are just the latest misconceived and ineffective federal program that fails to grasp what makes cities thrive … The belief that targeting some 7,000 lower-income census tracts with a special tax credit will propel their residents out of poverty ignores a long history of failed urban-development policies.
City Journal, September 9, 2019

O Zones have balkanized American cities into winner and loser zones, while encouraging corruption and making the tax code more complex … O Zones are supposed to alleviate poverty, but the main beneficiaries are the landlords who own development sites within the politically chosen zones. 
CATO Institute, May 7, 2019

Targeted development programs similar to Opportunity Zones fail to help those in need. In fact, they have a history of unintended consequences and corruption.
The Heritage Foundation, July 12, 2019

Progressives Oppose Opportunity Zones
These policies almost inevitably result in tax giveaways for investment that would have occurred anyway, as we’re beginning to see with opportunity zones. Under such circumstances, displacement from gentrification is the likely result.
Salon, May 21, 2018

Opportunity Zones are in fact a corrupt scam to enrich Trump’s cronies. The provision, added to his 2018 tax cut, sounds appealing on the surface. It gives a capital gains tax cut to It gives a capital gains tax cut to developers who build new projects in poor urban areas. The problem is that, even conceptually, the incentive is not going to drive investment in the poorest areas. 
New York Magazine, March 5, 2020

Of all the ways President Trump’s 2017 tax cut has enriched the wealthy at the expense of the public interest, perhaps the most outrageous is the black comedy of “opportunity zones … The tax break is being used to juice the profit margins on projects like a proposed luxury condominium development at a “superyacht marina” in ritzy West Palm Beach, Fla.
The New York Times, November 16, 2019