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HUD chief Ben Carson says Phoenix area can benefit from federal program

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson said some of the trillions of dollars in capital gains tax could help Phoenix and other cities with struggling neighborhoods.

“What we really want do to do is find a way to spread some of that wealth to the places that typically are neglected,” Carson said Wednesday on KTAR News 923 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

The program for opportunity zones, distressed areas that gain federal tax incentives to encourage long-term investment in the neighborhoods, was created when President Donald Trump signed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts.

There are more than 40 opportunity zones in Phoenix and overall about $2.3 trillion in unrealized capital gains.

“It’s a major tax benefit, but more importantly, it brings money into areas that … have continued to be neglected,” Carson said.

“It provides an opportunity to really develop those areas and because people have a long-term interest, they’re not going to invest their money and walk away.”

Affordable Housing Finance said “the program optimizes flexibility, allowing different types of investments that could benefit multiple parts of the community development ecosystem.”

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit will expand to include new construction and rehabilitation of multifamily developments.

“That will be perfect for these opportunity zones,” Carson said.

Some of the zones include parts of central Phoenix, west Phoenix and northwest Phoenix.

HUD was allotted $44 million in the president’s proposed 2020 budget. Trump proposed a record $7.4 trillion plan.

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