Bloomberg: Trump’s ‘Opportunity Zones’ Tax Break Under Assault in New York

Caleb Melby

February 06, 2019

Originally published in Bloomberg on February 06, 2019.

A New York state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make President Donald Trump’s “opportunity zones” tax break less valuable to real estate developers.

The lawmaker, Senator Michael Gianaris, a Democrat, says he was outraged to learn Inc.’s planned office building in his Queens, New York, district would be located in an opportunity zone. That designation lets the e-commerce behemoth and others qualify for sizable federal and state tax breaks for building there. Amazon has indicated it won’t try to claim the break.

Opportunity zones were meant to spur development in poor areas. The Long Island City census tract where Amazon is settling is relatively wealthy, however, with median household income of almost $140,000, and is already in the midst of a development boom.

“What’s become clear to me as a result of the Amazon debacle is the program’s not ready for prime time,” Gianaris said in an interview.

Read more here: