Saturday, January 14, 2023
Blake Stocke (J.D. 2022, St. Louis), Note, Turning over Stones: Advocating for Stronger Reporting Requirements for Opportunity Zones, 66 St. Louis U. L.J. 387 (2022):
In 2017, Congress passed Sections 1400Z-1 and 1400Z-2 into the Internal Revenue Code, effectively codifying new tax legislation dubbed ‘Opportunity Zones.’ This legislation, which received bipartisan support, was meant to provide investors with a tax break to incentivize investment in low-income communities. The Opportunity Zone program is a substantial tax expenditure for Congress, and one that proponents believe can attract investment into parts of the United States suffering from diminutive economic growth. However, critics doubt this program will benefit those living in distressed communities, and fear that Opportunity Zones will instead promote gentrification while giving wealthy investors unnecessary tax breaks.
It is unclear which side of the argument is correct because specific, detailed data illustrating the effectiveness of Opportunity Zones simply isn’t available. This Note will address why data collection is currently limited and proposes a solution at gathering more specific data to determine if Opportunity Zones truly benefit residents of low-income communities.