The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature, following passage by the House today and the Senate on Sunday. After weeks of negotiations, the comprehensive economic package primarily brokered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) reflects Democratic priorities to combat climate change, reduce prescription drug costs, and lower the deficit by roughly $300 billion over the next decade. (Washington Post, Aug. 7; Roundtable Weekly, July 29)
Why It Matters
- After Congress passed the IRA today, President Biden stated, “With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the House, families will see lower prescription drug prices, lower health care costs, and lower energy costs. I look forward to signing it into law next week” (Twitter, Aug. 12 | Wall Street Journal, Aug. 12)
- The $790 billion reconciliation proposal includes nearly $370 billion in climate spending that affects “clean energy” measures important to commercial real estate, the largest federal clean energy investment in U.S. history. (NPR, Aug. 7) (see story below)
Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer commented today, “The revised Inflation Reduction Act is a welcome step toward boosting economic growth by spurring extensive investments in clean energy and climate measures that benefit both our industry and our country. We applaud Congress for recognizing and protecting the critical role of carried interest provisions in incentivizing the risk-taking necessary for robust economic development. We look forward to working with our partners in industry and government to implement this legislation.”
- Proposed changes to the taxation of carried interest were cut from the IRA last week at the request of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). The Roundtable and 14 other national real estate organizations wrote to all members of Congress on Aug. 3 in strong opposition to the measure. (Coalition letter, Aug. 3 | Roundtable Weekly, Aug. 5 )
- The IRA’s largest tax increase is a 15% corporate minimum tax on businesses with profits over $1 billion whose reported book income exceeds reported taxable income. The measure is estimated to raise $313 billion.
- The final bill includes a 1 percent tax on what public companies spend on stock buybacks. However, it did not include any changes to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. (CQ, Aug. 7)
- The package also includes protections that would preserve the value of the low-income housing tax credit for investors (typically large banks) that use the credit to reduce their effective tax rate.
In the coming weeks, The Roundtable will continue updating summaries of the tax and energy provisions in the IRA
while also analyzing the direct and indirect impact on commercial real estate. (See below for Clean Energy Tax Incentives Fact Sheet
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Proposed changes to the taxation of carried interest were cut from Senate Democrats’ broad Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) yesterday at the request of centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). The Roundtable and 14 other national real estate organizations wrote to all members of Congress on Aug. 3 in strong opposition to the measure. (Coalition letter, Aug. 3 | Wall Street Journal, Aug. 4 |Tax Notes, Aug. 5). Photo above: Sen. Sinema at The Roundtable’s 2022 Spring Meeting.
Vote on Revised Reconciliation Bill
- Sinema announced her decision in a statement released Thursday night, commenting she would “move forward” with the $790 billion reconciliation bill after removal of the carried interest provision—subject to the Senate Parliamentarian’s review of the revised bill.
- Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that the chamber will begin consideration of the bill on Aug. 6, setting up a weekend process of around-the-clock votes on hundreds of amendments to the bill.
- Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer commented today, “The wide-ranging climate measures in the revised bill include the most extensive clean energy investments ever considered by Congress—a positive step welcomed by the real estate industry. We are also pleased to see that carried interest provisions in the original version of the Inflation Reduction Act are out, since they would have clearly harmed the residential and commercial real estate industries, job creation and the economy.”
Real Estate’s Carried Interest Opposition
- The real estate coalition urged policymakers to preserve current carried interest law and detailed major concerns with the proposed changes to carried interest that were in the original IRA, brokered last week between Sens. Schumer and Joe Manchin (D-WV). (Coalition letter, Aug. 3 and Roundtable Weekly, July 29)
- The Aug. 3 coalition letter noted, “The carried interest proposal would slow housing production, discourage the capital needed to reimagine buildings to meet post-pandemic business needs, hamper job creation and create an additional unknown in an already confusing economic environment.”
- The real estate coalition letter concluded, “Now is not the time to impose a tax increase on the countless Americans who use partnerships to develop, own, and operate housing and other commercial real estate. We urge you to preserve current tax law as it relates to carried interest.”
Senate Considers Changes
- Senate Democrats are making additional changes to the package, including adjusting the minimum tax on corporations and adding a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks. (New York Times, Aug. 4 and Punchbowl News, Aug. 5)
- Before a final Senate vote can be held, the Senate Parliamentarian must ensure the bill complies with special budget reconciliation rules, which require provisions directly relate to spending and revenue—not policy.
- One hurdle before the Parliamentarian is a clean energy tax credit that proposes a bonus incentive to developers who pay prevailing wages on certain projects. If it is determined to be a policy change, it will be dropped from the bill. (POLITICO Power Switch, Aug. 3)
- A number of the IRA’s proposed revisions to the federal tax code could leverage greater private sector investments in clean energy building technologies, including:
- A deduction to help make commercial and multifamily buildings more energy efficient (Section 179D),
- A credit to encourage investments in renewable energy generation and other low carbon equipment such as solar panels, energy storage, and combined heat and power systems (Section 48), and
- A credit to incentivize installations of EV charging stations (Section 30C).
The Roundtable continues to work with its policy advisory committees and national real estate organization partners to assess how details in the bill language could impact CRE. These policies will be a focus of discussion during The Roundtable’s Sept. 20-21 Fall Meeting in Washington, DC.
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An unexpected agreement announced Wednesday night between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), above right, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), left, on a $790 billion reconciliation proposal includes $14 billion in increased taxes on carried interest and a 15% corporate minimum tax—in addition to $369 billion in climate spending that affects “clean energy” measures important to commercial real estate.
Senate Democrats are hoping to pass some version of the Schumer-Manchin language on a party-line vote before the upper chamber begins its summer recess on Aug. 8. (Senate Democrats’ joint statement and one-page bill summary, July 27 | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, July 28)
- Today, The Real Estate Roundtable held an all-member virtual town hall to discuss major provisions within the 725-page Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022. The Roundtable is working with its policy advisory committees and national real estate organization partners to assess how details in the bill language could impact CRE.
- Real Estate Roundtable President Jeffrey DeBoer stated, “The Roundtable is engaged with policymakers and Capitol Hill staff on the potential impact of the proposed bill on real estate capital formation, economic growth, clean energy investments, and affordable housing development. The industry is working together to mitigate any negative consequences for CRE before policymakers hold an eventual vote on a final bill.”
Taxes & Clean Energy
- The IRA’s largest tax increase is a new 15% corporate minimum tax on businesses with profits over $1B whose reported book income exceeds reported taxable income. The measure is estimated to raise $313B. The package also includes protections that would preserve the value of the low-income housing tax credit for investors (typically large banks) that use the credit to reduce their effective tax rate.
- The smallest tax increase would raise $14B in revenue by extending the capital gains holding period requirement for carried interest from 3 years to 5 years, although there is an exemption for real estate. Additionally, there are technical reforms to the holding period rules for measuring the 3- or 5-year holding period. (Deloitte Tax News & Views, July 29)
- The carried interest holding period change includes a real estate exception for gain associated with assets used in a real property trade or business. The language in the IRA on carried interest is identical to text in the House Ways and Means Committee’s previous reconciliation bill last year—language that was dropped from the version that passed the full House. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 17, 2021)
- The Schumer-Manchin agreement also proposes significant reforms to Section 179D—the tax code’s main provision to incentivize energy efficient commercial buildings. The 179D reforms are geared to encourage more existing building “retrofits” although maximum incentives amounts depend on compliance with heightened wage and labor standards.
- Tax incentives are also included to encourage investments in solar panels, energy storage, and EV charging stations. (See Summary of the bill’s Energy Security and Climate Change Investments)
- There are several challenges to the Senate Democrats’ timeline for passage of the bill in early August.
- Senate Democrats need all 50 members of their caucus present for an eventual budget reconciliation vote, along with Vice President Kamala Harris to break an anticipated tie with 50 Republicans. Yet Covid-19 infections have caused recent absences. (The Hill, July 28)
- The bill was sent to Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough to see if it conforms with reconciliation budget rules, a process that will spill over into next week. (BGov, July 29)
- Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema is a key centrist vote, considering she has long opposed changes to the taxation of carried interest. Sinema’s spokesperson Hannah Hurley said yesterday that the Senator is “reviewing the text and will need to review what comes out of the parliamentarian process.” (BGov, July 29)
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