Subsidy Sheet: NY Opportunity Zones May Be Subsidizing Guns, Oil, Crypto


New York may be subsidizing investments in gun mega-sellers, oil companies, and crypto mining under the Opportunity Zone (OZ) tax break, Reinvent Albany said in a report released yesterday: “Guns, Oil, and Crypto.”

NYS and NYC tax codes continue to mirror a Trump-era tax break for investments in Opportunity Zones anywhere in the country. While the program has attracted media attention for giving tax breaks to superyacht marinas and high-end apartment buildings with pet spas, we also found that funds have been set up to support OZ investments in guns, oil, and crypto. This means that revenue that could be going to clean water or good roads could instead be going to a gun seller in Florida.

For example, New York residents investing in the American Armory Opportunity Fund can get capital gains tax breaks for helping finance Big Daddy Unlimited, a Florida company that aspires to be an Amazon for firearms. The company recently offered an “Alex Jones discount” promoted by the extremist media figure famous for calling the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre a hoax. Though New York has taken steps to implement strong gun control laws, the state and NYC could be supporting gun sellers through the Opportunity Zone program.

New York partially ended its Opportunity Zone tax break in 2021, but left a key provision intact. According to the Citizens Budget Commission, if the state does not fully end the tax break, Opportunity Zones could cost NY up to $424 million a year from 2029 ($284 million for NYS, $140 million for NYC).

View Reinvent Albany’s “Guns, Oil, and Crypto” report. 
View Reinvent Albany’s presentation on the report.

If you got this from a friend, sign up here. This week’s Subsidy Sheet was written by Tom Speaker and edited by John Kaehny. Please send questions and tips to tom [at] reinventalbany [dot] org. We look forward to hearing from you!