Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Johnson: Repeal Opportunity Zones

Calvin H. Johnson (Texas), Repeal Opportunity Zones, 169 Tax Notes Fed. 625 (Oct. 26, 2020):

Tax Notes FederalIn this article, Johnson argues that Opportunity Zone incentives do the poor more harm than good because they destroy affordable housing and increase tenant rents. Even if Congress is unwilling to enact negative income tax or housing vouchers, which would do the most to help tackle poverty, it needs to stop Opportunity Zones now. The first rule of the medical profession is “first, do no harm.” That rule can be generalized and applied to everything. Simple repeal of the Opportunity Zones would at least stop the harm they do.

Update:  Forbes, Law Professor Argues Opportunity Zone Program Is Harmful

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When last I examined research on Opportunity Zones, the vast majority of low-income residents benefited from "gentrification" via increased property values. This was especially true of black residents, who sold their homes that appreciated significantly and were able to advance into the middle class.

Posted by: MM Classic | Nov 6, 2020 1:26:15 PM

A close examination of who actually benefits from the Opportunity Zones incentives confirms this author's position. It was intended to assist real estate developers and reaches beyond distressed areas.

Posted by: A. Helm | Nov 5, 2020 8:27:04 AM