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Last updated 7:05PM ET
March 6, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Katrina Aid Used for Condos Instead
(2007-08-13)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - With large areas of the Gulf Coast still in ruins from Hurricane Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos near the University of Alabama's football stadium.

About 10 condominium projects are going up in and around Tuscaloosa. Builders are asking up to $1 million for units.

While many of the buyers are university alumni or football fans not entitled to any special Katrina-related tax breaks, many others are real estate investors who are purchasing the condos with plans to rent them out.

The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 or GO Zone contains a variety of tax breaks designed to stimulate construction in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. The zone was drawn to include the Tuscaloosa area even though it is about 200 miles from the coast and got only rain and some wind damage from Katrina.

The Associated Press found that the three states have approved nearly $10 billion in bond sales to spur investment. But only $2.8 billion has actually been issued in bonds, meaning most projects are still on the drawing board nearly two years after the storm.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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