A bill that would end the state tax break under the Qualified Opportunity Zone program cleared the state Senate on Wednesday as New York lawmakers seek to unwind a Trump-era tax break.
The bill is meant to address a 2017 federal tax law change that was aimed at providing incentives for economically troubled areas through Census tracts. But critics have contended the Census tracts included affluent areas of the state, including Manhattan and Long Island City.
“The Opportunity Zone program was intended to help economically distressed areas but is being abused to grant tax breaks to already overdeveloped neighborhoods, including Hudson Yards," said state Sen. Mike Gianaris. “This giveaway to wealthy investors does little to help communities in need and should be eliminated.”
Large portions of New York's tax code are linked to the federal tax code. The bill that advanced in the Senate would decouple state taxes from the federal program.
A coalition of labor unions and good-government organizations have called for an end to the program, including Reinvent Albany, NYSUT, 1199 SEIU, CWA District 1, Make the Road NY, ALIGN-NY and NYPIRG.