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Thu Nov 14, 2019, 07:34 AM

A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor's Superyacht Marina



A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina
Wealthy donors Wayne Huizenga Jr. and Jeff Vinik lobbied then-Gov. Rick Scott for the lucrative tax break — and won it. Poorer communities lost out.
by Justin Elliott, Jeff Ernsthausen and Kyle Edwards Nov. 14, 5 a.m. EST
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published.


The Rybovich superyacht marina lies on the West Palm Beach, Florida, waterfront, a short drive north from Mar-a-Lago. Superyachts, floating mansions that can stretch more than 300 feet and cost over $100 million, are serviced at the marina, and their owners enjoy Rybovich’s luxury resort amenities. Its Instagram account offers a glimpse into the rarefied world of the global 0.1% — as one post puts it, “What’s better than owning a yacht, owning a yacht with a helicopter of course!”

Rybovich owner Wayne Huizenga Jr., son of the Waste Management and Blockbuster video billionaire Wayne Huizenga Sr., has long planned to build luxury apartment towers on the site, part of a development dubbed Marina Village.

Those planned towers, and the superyacht marina itself, are now in an area designated as an opportunity zone under President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax code overhaul, qualifying them for a tax break program that is supposed to help the poor.

Then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott bestowed the tax break on the marina after a direct appeal from Huizenga Jr., according to a 2018 letter Huizenga Jr. wrote that was obtained by ProPublica. Huizenga and his family have been major donors to Scott. Even though the opportunity zone program is supposed to subsidize only new investment, Huizenga cited the already-planned Marina Village in his appeal to Scott.


Noting the “significant private sector investment that is poised to take place,” Huizenga wrote, “This project has been planned for some time as part of the larger Marina Village initiative which incorporates the Rybovich working waterfront marina.”

The state of Florida, based on an analysis of unemployment and poverty rates, had not originally intended to pick the census tract containing the superyacht marina for the program. But those plans changed in response to Huizenga’s lobbying, according to documents from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity obtained by ProPublica.

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https://www.propublica.org/article/superyacht-marina-west-palm-beach-opportunity-zone-trump-tax-break-to-help-the-poor-went-to-a-rich-gop-donor?utm_content=buffer530a8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=buffer&fbclid=IwAR2-TeSFUq6V-xeVp8FNgf5RlhCwQNP5e_UVTEJl5Unb2CHjoRoylrK1K7Y#170843

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Reply A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor's Superyacht Marina (Original post)
babylonsister Nov 14 OP
Phoenix61 Nov 14 #1
rampartc Nov 14 #2
tanyev Nov 14 #3
fescuerescue Nov 14 #4
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 14 #5

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 07:43 AM

1. Not a surprise. He ripped off Medicaid this is

chump change compared to that.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 07:45 AM

2. "opportunity zones are great spots gor gentrification,

just as soon as those inconvenient poor people can be moved out.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 08:06 AM

3. Oh, c'mon! Poor people need places to park their boats, too.



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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 08:21 AM

4. The 0.1%? That's a massive overestimation

No way can 1 in 1,000 own a $100 million dollar yacht. The average person drives by several 0.1%'s everyday and hundreds of 1%'ers.

More like the 0.0001%. The people who can afford $100 million dollar toys are in the extreme upper reaches of wealth and don't deserve tax breaks for the poor.

decimal points matter

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