November 06,2019

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Ashley Schapitl (202) 224-4515

Wyden Introduces Legislation to Reform Opportunity Zone Program

Bill would require public reporting, tighten rules and terminate zones that are not low-income

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation to impose much-needed guardrails and transparency measures on the Opportunity Zone program.

“The Opportunity Zone program has been troubled from the start. The Treasury Department has been steering potentially billions in tax breaks to Donald Trump’s friends, and there are no safeguards to ensure taxpayers are not simply subsidizing handouts for billionaires with no benefit to the low-income communities this program was supposed to help,” Wyden said. “Republicans who support the program should work with Democrats to ensure it does not become a boondoggle.”

Senator Wyden’s legislation would:  

  • Require annual, public information reporting from Opportunity Funds and annual statements to the IRS from fund investors.
  • Eliminate loopholes that could allow “sin list” investments like casinos and prohibit investments in stadiums and luxury apartments.
  • Terminate zones that are not low-income or impoverished, while allowing states to replace zones that are terminated.
  • Tighten existing rules to ensure that this generous incentive goes to productive, new investments that are actually in zones, and not to projects that were already underway or investors trying to park their money tax-free.

A copy of the legislative text is available here.

A one-page summary of the legislation is available here.

A detailed summary of the legislation is available here.