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Eliminating Fraud in the Administration of the Opportunity Zone Program

WHEREAS, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) strives to "empower local communities with the necessary education, resources, and partnerships to develop sustainable economic models that advance diversity and equality; ensure that government and industry are knowledgeable and committed to bridging racial inequality particularly as it relates to employment, wealth, lending, and business ownership; and to grow a movement of concerned citizens and organizations who work together to produce an inclusive and strong middle-class economy for the 21st Century;" and

WHEREAS, the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act established that "[t]axpayers may temporarily defer and reduce the recognition of capital gains that are invested in opportunity zones" through three different types of tax incentives; and

WHEREAS, for tax purposes, a qualified opportunity fund (QOF) entity need only "self-certify" that it elects to be a QOF by filing Form 8996 as part of its initial year annual tax filing; and

WHEREAS, final regulations from the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service concerning the concentration of investment activity in opportunity zones has been amended into the Internal Revenue Code §1400Z-2 to require that at least 90% of each QOF be invested in Qualified Opportunity Zone Properties; and

WHEREAS, the lack of public reporting requirements, standards and public disclosure opens up the Opportunity Zone programs to a lack of transparency with regards to the direct social and economic benefits at are provided to the low-income and working class people living in opportunity zone areas.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP advocate for sustainable economic models in areas designated as opportunity zones that directly benefit low-income and working class citizen living within opportunity zones; and speak out against unfair dealing and injustices at the National, State, and local level stemming from the administration of the opportunity zone program.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will urge Opportunity Zone Executive Director, and HUD Secretary to meet with community members and community based organizations and receive a transparent assessment of the challenges faced by racial and ethnic minority communities and work to craft solutions that fit the unique economic needs of each community.