What You Need to Know
- Wyden said he’s probing the Opportunity Zone Program and whether it has delivered on its goal of spurring investment in low-income communities.
- The program may permit wealthy investors another opportunity to avoid billions of dollars in taxes, he writes.
- Wyden has introduced legislation to tighten the program and increase reporting requirements.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is launching an investigation into Opportunity Zone Funds, including the one run by Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital.
In recent letters to SkyBridge Capital, Baker Tilly US LLP, Cresset Partners LLC, Hatteras Sky, PTM Partners LLC, Related Group and Shopoff Realty Investments, Wyden said he’s probing the Opportunity Zone Program “and whether it has delivered on Republican promises to create jobs and drive investment in low-income communities, rather than just create a loophole for wealthy investors to avoid paying taxes.”
In his letter to Scaramucci, Wyden said that “given the lack of transparency and reporting requirements for Opportunity Funds, I am writing to request information about the organization, operation and economic impact of SkyBridge Opportunity Zone Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc.”
Wyden stated that he’s “long been concerned that the Opportunity Zone program may permit wealthy investors another opportunity to avoid billions of dollars in taxes without meaningfully benefitting the distressed communities the program was intended to help.”
He cited a report released by the Government Accountability Office, which he said “heightened my concern about the effects of the Opportunity Zone program. The GAO report notes that representatives of several Opportunity Funds indicated that they would have proceeded with projects in what are now designated zones without the tax incentives provided by the Opportunity Zone program.”