GAO Report Calls for Additional Oversight of OZs

On November 9, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report called, “Opportunity Zones: Improved Oversight Needed to Evaluate Tax Expenditure Performance.” The report compares the Opportunity Zone (OZ) program to other community development tax incentives like the Housing Credit and the New Markets Tax Credit, as well as evaluates the ability of the executive branch to effectively assess the program’s performance. Through its analysis, the report makes two key findings: 1) that Congress should consider providing Treasury the authority to collect and report data on OZ performance, since they have yet to designate this responsibility to any specific agency and; 2) that Congress should consider identifying questions that it would like Treasury to address to help guide data collection and reporting, as there is currently insufficient data available to assess OZ program outcomes. The report asserts that the current lack of clear guidance and authority to collect OZ data does not allow for sufficient evaluation of the program. Enterprise is in agreement with the main findings of the GAO report and will continue to advocate for increased oversight and data collection of the OZ program to ensure it benefits the distressed communities it is intended to serve. 

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