Congressional Lame Duck Session May Include Tax Policies Impacting Real Estate
Lawmakers returning after the midterm elections for a lame duck session will work on a possible FY2023 “omnibus” budget package that may include tax policies of importance to commercial real estate.
- The first congressional priority will be a massive “omnibus” budget package that needs to pass by December 16—the deadline set by a Continuing Budget Resolution passed in September—to avoid a partial government shutdown. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 30)
- Whether business tax relief—e.g. a delay in the pending phase-out of 100 percent bonus depreciation, tax extenders, or a fix to the business interest deductibility rules—will be attached to an omni package may depend on whether a bipartisan deal can be struck on child tax credit relief. (Politico, Oct. 6 and Tax Policy Center, Oct. 6)
Certain provisions from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) recently expired, including rules related to business interest deductibility. TCJA’s 100% bonus depreciation benefit starts phasing down at the end of this year. Other expired tax provisions include a temporary increase in allocations of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) to states.
- The Real Estate Roundtable has long supported well-designed, targeted tax incentives like the LIHTC that are aimed at boosting the construction and rehabilitation of badly needed affordable and workforce housing. (Roundtable 2022 Policy Agenda Tax Section)
- House Republicans have made the permanent extension of the TCJA tax cuts a key element of their Commitment to America policy agenda. (Bloomberg, Sept. 23 and ABC News, Sept. 22)
Packed Lame Duck
- A cascade of other national policy issues will vie for attention in the tightly packed lame duck agenda, including reauthorization of defense programs, hurricane relief, immigration, election reform, marriage equality and more. (Axios, Sept. 29)
- House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that if the GOP controls the House in 2023, they will use raising the debt limit as leverage to force spending cuts—which could include cuts to Medicare and Social Security—and possibly limit funding to Ukraine. (PunchBowl, Oct. 18 and Bloomberg Law, Oct. 11)
The House returns Nov. 9 and the Senate on Nov. 14.
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White House “Clean Air in Building Challenge” Invites Owner Participation; SEC Delays Climate Rule
Real estate and other industry leaders recently participated in the first White House Summit on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as part of the Biden administration’s continued focus on the benefits of healthy buildings in the pandemic era. (Summit video, Oct. 12 and International WELL Building Institute, Oct. 13)
Building Owner “Pledge”
- The summit included a website launch inviting businesses to participate in the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge, an initiative announced by the administration earlier this year. (Roundtable Weekly, March 18, 2022)
- The Challenge encourages building owners and managers to sign a pledge to:
- Create a clean indoor air “action plan” (e.g., regular HVAC inspections and maintenance)
- Optimize fresh air ventilation (e.g., use economizers, open operable windows)
- Enhance air filtration (e.g., install MERV-13 filters)
- Communicate IAQ practices with building occupants
- Speakers at the summit included Silverstein Properties’ Chief Innovation Officer Guy Vardi and Dr. Joseph Allen, Healthy Buildings Program Director at Harvard University. Roundtable President Jeffrey DeBoer interviewed Dr. Allen at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown. (Roundtable Weekly, May 8, 2020 | Watch the video interview)
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a Request for Information to solicit feedback from industry, researchers, and the public on key characteristics and measures of improved ventilation, filtration, and air cleaning in buildings. Comments are due by Dec. 5, 2022.
In other news, the Securities and Exchange Commission will reportedly delay by “months” its release of a long-anticipated final rule on corporate climate disclosures. (Bloomberg Law, Oct. 19) The agency continues to assess the legality of its proposal under recent U.S. Supreme Court case law and sift through more than 14,000 comments received from the public—including input provided by The Roundtable and other CRE groups in June. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 16 and June 10)
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White House Seeks to Speed Up Infrastructure Implementation
A White House “Accelerating Infrastructure Summit” on Oct. 13 showcased actions by the administration to hasten infrastructure project construction by improving coordination with mayors and governors. (Summit video and White House Action Plan)
Accelerating IIJA Investment
- Mitch Landrieu, the White House’s infrastructure coordinator (photo above) stated, “With over 90% of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding being delivered by non-federal agencies, our state, tribal, regional, territorial, local and industry partners must also find ways to accelerate the delivery of infrastructure.” (ABC News, Oct. 13)
- The plan—funded under the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) enacted last November and supplemented by the Inflation Reduction Act in August—is the most significant investment in infrastructure since the interstate highway initiative during the Eisenhower administration. The Roundtable strongly backed the IIJA as it moved through the legislative process. (Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 12, 2021)
- The IIJA broadens access to federal funding programs by targeting resources toward communities. The administration launched a webpage on Grants.gov and a Technical Assistance Guide to help communities with infrastructure project resources, from grant writing to funding eligibility requirements. A web-based interactive map also shows where IIJA funds have been disbursed in communities across the nation.
On Time, On Task, and On Budget
- The White House acceleration plan details numerous federal policy initiatives and complements the administration’s Permitting Action Plan, released in May. (Transportation Today, Oct. 17)
The Roundtable continues to support federal transportation infrastructure investments to spur economic growth, support local communities, and enhance America’s competitiveness. (Roundtable Weekly, May 20 and Roundtable’s 2022 Policy Agenda)
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