Trump proposal lets banks count giving money to NFL as helping the poor


NFL owners have donated millions to Trump and the Republican Party over the years.

Banks may soon be allowed to finance NFL stadiums and count such actions as working on behalf of the poor, possibly even getting a tax break for doing so, under a new proposal from the Trump administration.

Bloomberg reported Monday that the proposed rule change, put forward by regulators appointed by Donald Trump, was part of an effort to rewrite the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires banks to "steer a portion of their money to people in poor neighborhoods."

Under the proposal, banks can meet their obligations to that act through "investment in a qualified opportunity fund, established to finance improvements to an athletic stadium in an opportunity zone that is also [a low- or moderate-income] census tract."

Bloomberg noted that more than a dozen current NFL venues are located in "opportunity zones" and would be able to take advantage of the proposed rule changes. Among these are M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, where the Baltimore Ravens recently completed $120 million in upgrades, as well as the Denver Broncos' Empower Field.

"There also are facilities for professional baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey teams in the zones," Bloomberg reported.

If the regulatory changes go through, a number of its beneficiaries would be multi-millionaire and billionaire NFL owners, many of whom have donated to Trump and the Republican Party over the years. It would also represent a redirection of funds that currently benefit low-income areas and residents.

"At least nine [NFL] owners or the companies they control donated to Trump's inaugural committee," CNBC reported in August. "Several of them have also given money to either Trump's campaign or its joint fundraising arm with the Republican Party during the 2016, 2018 and 2020 election cycles."

NFL owners gave about $7.7 million to Trump's scandal-plagued inauguration committee along with another $1.1 million for Trump's election.

Trump has often touted his personal relationship with New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, who is worth a reported $6.9 billion. Kraft was recently at the White House for the administration's Hanukkah celebration.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.