CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Donald Trump visited Charlotte on Friday to speak at the North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit. The event brought together leaders from across the state to brainstorm ways to utilize the Opportunity Zone Program, a tax credit passed in 2017 for people who invest money in low-income areas.
The zones are picked by the state and certified by the federal government. North Carolina has 252 of the zones including parts of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point.
"Long term investment in these communities is now taxed at zero. These deserving communities are now seeing investments flood in like they haven’t seen in decades," President Donald Trump said.
Not everyone is sold on the idea. Researchers with the Brookings Institution aren’t so sure that the program works. They say the government “picked places that did not need the help or were already on their way to success," and “the design of the program’s tax subsidy is also likely to constrain the benefits to poor residents.”
Forbes Magazine had this to say about the program: “Opportunity zones: we’re doing it wrong.” The magazine also added, “the outcome is arguably more weighted towards the financial gain of investors, over the value add for community members.”
"I will not rest, I will not stop until we have delivered equal opportunity for every community in our land," Trump said.
It’s a busy week for President Trump. The State of the Union Address was Tuesday night and not even 24 hours later he was acquitted in the impeachment trial.
“President Trump’s visits to this state are not by accident,” UNC Charlotte Political Science Professor Dr. Eric Heberlig said. “It’s because we’re a competitive state. He needs to be here to get the news coverage to get his message out.”