Are Opportunity Zones sites of misfortune for distressed neighborhoods?
Gateways Episode 34
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was unveiled in 2017, much of the national attention was trained on the debate between Republicans and Democrats over whether the cuts disproportionately helped the rich. Woven in the tax code, however, a federal initiative known as Opportunity Zones promised to incentivize development and job creation in distressed communities. Further inspection by the New York Times revealed that the tax break hasn’t yet yielded much benefit for the most distressed census tracts.
Instead, Opportunity Funds have been funneled to the more prosperous neighborhoods that were poised to receive investment anyway. Does this mean that Opportunity Zones are producing state and local investments in places where they’re needed the least? Join Karen Kelleher, Executive Director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC Boston) and Elijah Plymesser, director of LOCUS Massachusetts as they break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of Opportunity Zones for our host, Dr. Tracy Corley, in this week’s episode.
- MassINC Opportunity Zones brief
- MA Opportunity Zones Academy
- National Opportunity Zones Ranking Report
- 2019 LOCUS Massachusetts Opportunity Zone Convening