Carson Floats Opportunity Zones as CDBG Replacement

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson testified before the House Appropriations subcommittee on Housing and Urban Development about the Administration’s FY 2019 budget and suggested that the Opportunity Zones program could replace Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

The Trump Administration has called for cuts to grant programs that support state and local governments. Congress, however, has not embraced those proposals.

Route Fifty reports:

Carson, however, made a case that “we do have a way to take care of the good things that CDBG does, and that again is through the Opportunity Zone program.” He estimated that the fledgling initiative would bring in as much as $2.2 trillion, which could be used “to substitute” for CDBG and to put toward infrastructure.

The Opportunity Zones program provides a tax incentive for investors to reinvest unrealized capital gains—such as profit from a stock position that has not been closed to make a profit—into special funds that will channel money to investments in low-income communities.

Earlier this month MACo sent a letter to the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Commerce urging a process to incorporate county input into Maryland’s process for determining which zip codes would qualify for the Zones. The Hogan administration responded by designating an official at the Housing Department to serve as a coordinator for any input received.

For more information:

Carson Says ‘Opportunity Zones’ Could Serve as CDBG Substitute (Route Fifty)

County Input Sought on “Opportunity Zone” Designations (Conduit Street)