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Underserved neighborhoods have a disproportionate number of people working in hospitality, retail, restaurants, etc. – sectors that have been particularly hard hit by the stay-at-home rules. Could the OZ Program fill a void longterm that the government and banks are not filling?

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Blake Christian
This is absolutely the case in the vast majority of OZ census tracts! The 8,700 census tracts were hand-picked by each state governor based on statutory criteria which included higher than average poverty rates. The COVID-19 impact has had a devastating impact on restaurants, hotels,
entertainment venues and other hospitality businesses, all which rely on many employees who reside within OZ census tracts. These employees typically have little savings and are already feeling the brunt of our country’s self-induced economic coma.
The OZ program’s nationwide (and territorial) architecture offers an excellent foundation that can be easily expanded by adding another layer of qualifying census tracts that are losing the highest percentage of employees due to the COVID-19 impact. I have also contacted South Carolina Senator Tim Scott’s office and suggested to him that Congress expand the OZ program to give taxpayers a 50 percent tax exemption on a sale after 10 years if they invest after-tax dollars into a QOF (not just their capital gains).
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