One million Americans will be lifted from poverty because of President Trump’s historic Opportunity Zones tax cuts program, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimates in a new report today.
For over 50 years, the “War on Poverty” has left too many American communities behind. Many of its programs have “relied on inefficient top-down federal grants and subsidies that empower Washington bureaucrats and special interests with lobbyists at the expense of communities in need,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Brooke Rollins wrote today.
In contrast, America’s nearly 8,800 Opportunity Zones—designated after President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—qualify for incentives to encourage private-sector investment, job creation, and self-sufficiency instead of government dependency.
“We’re providing massive tax incentives for private investment in these areas to create jobs and opportunities where they are needed the most,” President Trump said at a meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council last year.
“This is all throughout the country.”
About 35 million Americans live in these historically distressed areas, where the average poverty rate is double that of other communities. These underserved areas are also home to a higher share of African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
Over $75 billion has been raised through 2019 for qualified opportunity funds to serve these communities. These investments are expected to create a minimum of 500,000 new jobs, as well as an 11 percent decrease in poverty.
“It’s having a profound effect. As far as property values are concerned, they go up 1.1 percent just with the announcement of you being in an Opportunity Zone,” Secretary Carson said in an interview with Fox News.
Read the report: The Impact of Opportunity Zones