The Treasury Department is investigating a federal tax break that was designed to help low-income communities, but has proved to be a windfall for the rich.
The inquiry into Trump’s Opportunity Zone program was instigated after three Democratic lawmakers — Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and Rep. Ron Kind — called for it.
Passed in 2017, the tax break was designed to bolster investment in low-income neighborhoods, helping the economy by bringing businesses and jobs. Investors were able to defer capital gains taxes from selling stocks or other investments as long as they put the money into federally designated Opportunity Zones.
But wealthy developers, some of whom have ties to the administration, have sought to benefit. In some cases, funds eligible for the tax break have gone to luxury projects in affluent areas.
Rich Delmar, the Treasury Department’s deputy inspector general, said in a statement that the department’s internal watchdog expects “to complete our work and respond to the congressional requesters in early spring.”