Policy Issues

The tax system should treat real estate consistently with other types of assets and avoid excessive incentives or disincentives that distort markets.  In limited and narrow circumstances (e.g., low-income housing), tax incentives are needed to address market failures and encourage capital to flow to socially desirable activities.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 retained or enhanced key elements of the tax code that promote productive real estate investment and job growth.  The Real Estate Roundtable works with policymakers to ensure that our tax laws and regulations reflect the economics of real estate assets and contribute to strong property values and well-served, livable communities.

 

See more details below on each policy issue:

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  • Tax Reform Issue Position Background

    Tax Reform: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
     
    In short, in areas critical to real estate investment, the new law includes a number of provisions that ensure the tax code continues to tax real estate on a rational basis.

  • Tax Reform Implementation Issue Position Background

    Tax reform left many major policy decisions in the hands of the Treasury Department.  Real estate owners and investors need guidance from Treasury regarding how the IRS will interpret the new provisions and how they will operate in practice. 

  • Tax Reform Technical Corrections Issue Position Background

    Tax Reform Technical Corrections - Nonresidential, Improvements, Multifamily Housing
     
    In the rush to pass tax reform, one unintentional drafting mistake has resulted in a longer cost recovery period for qualified interior improvements (a category that previously covered leasehold improvements, retail improvements, and new restaurant construction). 

  • Opportunity Zones Issue Position Background

    An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the U.S. Treasury.

  • Foreign Investment In Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) Issue Position Background

    FIRPTA applies a discriminatory capital gains tax on foreign investors in U.S. real estate that does not apply to any other asset class.  In so doing, the FIRPTA regime discourages capital formation and investment that could be used to create jobs and improve U.S. real estate and infrastructure. 

  • Internet Sales Tax Issue Position Background

    In June, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court overturned its prior case law and upheld a South Dakota law that imposes sales tax collection requirements even if the seller lacks a physical presence in the State.  The decisions marks a monumental step forward in the effort to create a level economic playing field between internet retailers and Main Street stores.   

  • Affordable Housing Issue Position Background

    The low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) is an effective, market-based tool to help address the shortage of affordable housing in the United States.  The 40 percent reduction in the corporate tax rate indirectly reduced the value of the LIHTC and demand for the credit. 

    The Roundtable's policy agenda encourages government programs designed to increase the nation's stock of affordable, low-income and market-rate housing, as opposed to rent control and other measures that constrict residential supplies. 

  • Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives - E-QUIP Issue Position Background

    The Roundtable has developed a tax incentive proposal to encourage energy efficient building improvements – known as “E-QUIP.”

  • Interest Deductibility Issue Position Background

    The ability to borrow without a tax penalty is critical to the health and stability of real estate markets. The Roundtable’s advocacy helped put the potential harm of changes to the deductibility of business interest front-and-center for lawmakers during the consideration of the tax overhaul.

  • Carried Interest Issue Position Background

    The Roundtable has spearheaded a coalition of 14 national real estate organizations to urge members of the House of Representatives not to move forward with the Carried Interest Fairness Act. The bill would limit capital gain treatment only to taxpayers who have cash to invest, making it more expensive to build or improve real estate and infrastructure, including workforce housing, assisted living communities, and industrial properties, to name just a few.

  • Condominium Tax Accounting Issue Position Background

    In the last Congress, the Fair Accounting for Condominium Construction Act (H.R. 3659) would have corrected the tax accounting treatment of new condominium development.  The Real Estate Roundtable will work with Members of Congress to advance this issue in 2019.

RELATED CONTENT

Members Only

The Roundtable's Tax Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) is led by Frank G. Creamer, Jr. (FGC Advisors, LLC) as chairman, and Kathy Weiden (LeFrak) as vice chairman. TPAC members are leading experts on tax issues affecting commercial and multifamily real estate, and include representatives from the major national real estate trade associations.

Staff Contact
RM-Oct2019 - contact Ryan P. McCormick
 Senior Vice President & Counsel

Other Resources

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Roundtable Weekly (Policy Newsletter & Archive)
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Annual Report (Roundtable Accomplishments & Activities)
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Policy Agenda (Roundtable Goals & Advocacy)