Treasury watchdog to investigate Trump Opportunity Zone program

Source: The Hill | January 15, 2020 | Justine Coleman

The Treasury Department’s internal watchdog is planning to investigate the Opportunity Zone program after three Democratic lawmakers called for a closer look at the initiative, acting Treasury Inspector General Richard Delmar told NBC News

Delmar’s announcement came a few months after Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) sent him a letter requesting an investigation after news reports indicated that friends of the administration were benefiting. The acting inspector general told NBC News that the report is expected to be completed by early spring. 

The Opportunity Zone program was enacted with President Trump’s tax bill in 2017 and was designed to give tax incentives to those who invested in designated lower income areas.

But The New York Times reported last year that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the department to grant Storey County, Nev., an opportunity zone status after spending time with the co-owner of a company in that county.

House Ways and Means Committee ChairmanRichard Neal (D-Mass.) and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyde (D-Ore.) also sent a letter to Mnuchin in November asking for more information on why that county was selected after the department had previously decided it was ineligible. 


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