“Some analysts think the lightly regulated program could unlock hundreds of billions of dollars from investors who are hesitant to cash out of investments because of capital gains taxes. But critics worry the program will give tax breaks to wealthy investors to spend on high-end real estate and other projects that don’t benefit poor neighborhoods, and that the administration is misusing the zones to give tax breaks to projects already in development or to steer money into gentrifying neighborhoods.
“‘The intention was to spur investment that would not otherwise take place by offering these incentives,’ said James Myall, a policy analyst with the left-leaning Maine Center for Economic Policy. ‘If the (state) wants to take the position that they were looking for places that already had projects, that is concerning.'”