“People were troubled,” said Annie Donovan, who previously ran the Treasury office in charge of designating areas as opportunity zones. She and two of her former colleagues said they were upset that the Treasury secretary was intervening to bend rules, though they said they didn’t realize at the time that Mr. Mnuchin’s friend stood to profit. The agency’s employees, Ms. Donovan said, “were put in a position where they had to compromise the integrity of the process.”
The opportunity zone initiative, tucked into the tax cut bill that Mr. Trump signed into law in 2017, has become one of the White House’s signature initiatives. It allows investors to delay or avoid taxes on capital gains by putting money in projects or companies in more than 8,700 federally designated opportunity zones. Mr. Trump has boasted that it will revitalize downtrodden neighborhoods.
But the incentive, also championed by some prominent Democrats, has been dogged by criticism that it is a gift to wealthy investors and real estate developers. From the start, the tax break targeted people with capital gains, the vast majority of which are held by the very richest investors. The Treasury permitted opportunity zones to encompass not only poor communities but some adjacent affluent neighborhoods. Much of the money so far has flowed to those wealthier areas, including many projects that were planned long before the new law was enacted.
Investors and others — including Mr. Milken’s institute — have been pushing the Treasury Department to write the rules governing opportunity zones in ways that would make it easier to qualify for the tax break. That campaign worked, and Mr. Milken is among the potential beneficiaries.
Geoffrey Moore, a spokesman for Mr. Milken, confirmed that Mr. Milken had investments inside opportunity zones, though they are a sliver of his overall real estate holdings. He disputed that Mr. Milken had used his institute or Washington connections to benefit his investments and said no one at the institute “has any specific knowledge of Mike’s personal investments.”
Mr. Moore added that Mr. Milken’s support for opportunity zones was based on his longstanding belief “that jobs and the democratization of ownership are the keys to helping people in economically struggling areas.”
A spokesman for the Milken Institute, Geoffrey Baum, said that “to suggest that the work of the Milken Institute is motivated by or connected to Mr. Milken’s investments is flat-out wrong.” He said the institute advocated changes that were intended to spread the benefits to more low-income communities, not to help the wealthy.
- Kyrsten Sinema Applauds Trump Tax Cuts While Other Democrats Sit Silently
- How a New Generation of Progressive Activists Is Leading the Trump Resistance
- Trump: Relief Workers Can’t Stay in Puerto Rico Forever
- Trump announces effort to boost underserved communities after deriding 'impeachment hoax' and saying Democrats have to put it 'on their resume'
- Did Ari Emanuel Cover for Donald Trump on the Miss Universe Tapes?
- 'That's her legacy': White House slams Pelosi for tearing up State of the Union address as Nancy BRAGS to cheering Dems that 'Trump shredded the truth so I shredded his speech'
- READ: President Trump's State of the Union address
- Full Text: President Donald Trump’s 2020 State of the Union Speech
- Read the full text of Donald Trump's 2020 State of the Union as he makes his case for re-election, lashing out at 'socialists' and saying: 'The best is yet to come!'
- Text of President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address
- Nancy Pelosi RIPS UP Donald Trump's speech: State of the Union ends in open warfare between speaker and president as he praises his achievements and attacks 'socialism' to cheers of 'four more years' from Republicans - while Democrats walk out in disgust
- Barack Obama Haunts Donald Trump’s Attempts to Win Black Votes
- John Kasich’s Campaign Against Trump Never Stopped. And It Won’t Till 2020.
- Trump in State of Union speech: 'I keep my promises'
- From a SNAP recipient to Trump: Food box is a "terrible idea"
- Palestinians say Trump's deal is racist. But their leaders are bereft of ideas on how to fight it
- Tim Scott: Dems 'lose their minds' when Trump talks about helping minority communities
- Trump to promote opportunity zones on North Carolina visit
- 'It was the courteous thing to do - considering the alternative!' Nancy Pelosi defends tearing up State of the Union calling Donald Trump's speech 'DIRTY' after he started by snubbing her handshake
- White House Officially Responds To Pelosi Ripping Up Trump’s Speech
Symbol of ’80s Greed May Profit From Trump Tax Break for Poor Areas have 737 words, post on www.nytimes.com at October 26, 2019. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.