UAlbany Professor’s Article on ‘Opportunity Zones’ Gets Picked Up by National Media

Timothy Weaver, assistant professor of political science, getting national attention for his work demonstrating limited effect of federal community development program.

Timothy Weaver is an assistant professor of political science.  

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 6, 2018) – An article written by Timothy Weaver, assistant professor of Political Science, for The Conversation, an independent source of news from the academic and research communities, has been picked up by Salon, The Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press and City Lab, among others.

The Conversation’s professional editors work with university scholars, academics and experts to help connect them to wider publics and readerships.

The article, “Tax law’s ‘opportunity zones’ won’t create opportunities for the people who need it most,” was first published by The Conversation on May 15.

Weaver’s article walks readers through how communities that have participated in similar programs to the Opportunity Zone initiative have seen mixed results in terms of economic revitalization, and that many of those results are unintended.

One common outcome, according to Weaver, is that private investors get tax breaks for investment that would have occurred anyway, diverting money from those communities that most need it.

“Programs like the Opportunity Zone initiative almost inevitably result in tax giveaways to developers for investment that would have occurred anyway and risk driving out existing residents through gentrification,” he said.

New York is a participant in the Opportunity Zone program as part of a federal effort to revitalize impoverished areas using tax incentives.

Weaver specializes in urban policy and politics at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy. He is the author of the 2016 book, Blazing the Neoliberal Trail: Urban Political Development in the United States and the United Kingdom (Penn Press, 2016).

Weaver’s article has been featured in the following major outlets over the past month:

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