Filtered by category: Legislative Clear Filter

The Uncertain Future of Carried Interest Tax

Posted on September 6, 2017

The future of tax reform remains unclear as Labor Day approaches. However, the White House is indicating it plans to step back and allow lawmakers to take the lead this fall. “The White House does not plan to release its own version of a tax reform plan and will instead leave that to the congressional leadership and the major tax-writing committees,” Politico reports, citing an administration source.

One issue that may be on the table is the current tax treatment of carried interest as capital gains.

During an event in Louisville with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hinted the administration might be open to preserving the current status of carried interest for certain activities that result in long-term capital investment and assets. “We will close the loophole for hedge funds in carried interest. What we are focused on is there are many other types of funds that do create jobs and we want to make sure we don’t discourage investment,” he said.

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Early Voting Now Underway for Charlotte’s Primary Election!

Posted on September 6, 2017

Early Voting Now Underway for Charlotte’s Primary Election! Early Voting is now underway in the City of Charlotte’s September 12th Primary Election, with nine convenient polling sites around town. Click here to find out where and when you can vote. To see which candidates support the priorities of the real estate industry, click here. Completed candidate questionnaires are posted on the REBIC website.

Executive Order Seeks to Eliminate Red Tape for Infrastructure Projects

Posted on August 23, 2017

In a press conference last Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced his latest executive order, which addressed infrastructure permitting. Though the event ultimately devolved into a controversial discussion about the tragic events in Charlottesville, the order offers some insight into the administration’s strategy on infrastructure policy.

The executive order, entitled “Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure,” is aimed at expediting permitting for infrastructure projects. It broadly tasks federal agencies with proposing ways to reduce average permitting time from the current average of seven years down to two years, and assigns an agency to each future project, placing them in charge of navigating the bureaucratic process.  To demonstrate its inherent complexity, Trump unveiled a six-foot long graphic depicting the permitting process at the press conference.

Trump has often spoken of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, though none has materialized as of yet. His budget request proposed a mix of $200 billion in tax credits and direct funds, but it remains unclear whether this could spur enough private investment to reach $1 trillion. To complicate things further, the president recently announced that he would scrap plans to create an infrastructure advisory panel, which would have allowed the private sector to share input. 

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NAIOP-backed Bill Passes House Committee

Posted August 9, 2017

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week voted unanimously to advance H.R. 1758, the Brownfields Reauthorization Act of 2017. As its name suggests, the legislation would formally reauthorize the brownfields program for the first time since 2006, when authorization for the program expired. Congress had continued to appropriate funds despite a lack of authorization, but at varying and often decreased levels. Reauthorization provides supporters of brownfields redevelopment efforts with added leverage in future funding fights. H.R. 1758 makes important adjustments to the program, giving states added flexibility in spending brownfields grant funds, and expanding the universe of eligible grant recipients to include non-profit groups.

Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, the brownfields program assists states in the cleanup and remediation of properties where contamination is suspected. The fear of unknown and potentially exorbitant costs – particularly those stemming from liability – at these sites often forces developers to look elsewhere for new opportunities. As a result, brownfields go untouched, which can depress surrounding property values and deprive local communities of much-needed tax revenue. Remediation of brownfields sites can yield substantial returns on taxpayers’ investment. Since its inception, the brownfields program has created 10 jobs for every redeveloped acre, and has leveraged $18 in private and state development funds for every $1 of taxpayer-funded brownfields grants.

NAIOP joined several other members of the real estate community in support of the bipartisan legislation, and will continue to advocate for reauthorization of and funding for the brownfields program as the bill is considered by the full House of Representatives.

Congress, Make Tax Reform Take the Long View

Posted on August 8, 2017

Written by Thomas J. Bisacquino

The world today moves faster than it ever has before. Smartphones provide immediate access to people and information. Retailers deliver with blinding speed, often the same day. But not everything should, or can, be immediate. That’s true in tax policy, and in commercial real estate (CRE).

In the CRE industry, owners and operators often must wait years, even decades, to recoup their investments. Meanwhile, they keep pouring further spending into their properties to keep them up to code and to deliver the perks tenants demand. CRE doesn’t deliver immediate rewards, but forces owners to make the necessary long-term investments that will pay off for them and the economy.

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EPA Releases Rule to Withdraw WOTUS

Posted on August 8, 2017

IMG_0072Fulfilling a portion of an executive order by President Donald Trump, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have released a proposal to rescind the Waters of the United States rule that expanded federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

The proposal (link is external) published in the Federal Register on Thursday, July 28 would nix the 2015 WOTUS rule and reinstate the definition of the streams and wetlands subject to federal oversight under the act that existed prior to its finalization.

The publication of the proposal constitutes the first part of a two-step process to meet the Feb. 28 executive order directing the rule’s review. The second step will be “a separate notice and comment rulemaking that will consider developing a new definition” for the extent of federal jurisdiction under the act, say the EPA and Corps in a pre-publication copy of the proposed rescission.

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House Hopes to Pass Budget Plan Before Recess

Posted on July 28, 2017

Republican leaders are trying to pass a budget before the House of Representatives goes on recess at the end of the week. The proposal would “set the stage for a potential $203 billion rollback of financial industry regulations, federal employee benefits, welfare spending and more,” The Washington Post reported.

The bill passed the Budget Committee last week. The GOP calls it “a plan for fiscal responsibility,” and says it would balance the budget without raising taxes or cutting Social Security. However, the plan is facing a tough battle; some parts of it are opposed by House conservatives, other parts by Republican moderates.

The bill aims to do more than set spending priorities. It would also be a stepping stone lawmakers could use in the Senate to avoid a filibuster and advance one of President Donald Trump’s top issues. “This is the tax reform budget,” Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said. “It’s critical that our party in the House comes together to pass this budget.”

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Senate Returns to Health Care Debate, Potential Energy Legislation

Posted on July 14, 2017

Congress returns from their July 4 recess this week, with the Senate consumed by the debate over their version of healthcare legislation meant to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to pass a healthcare bill prior to the July 4 recess, he will now will try to accomplish that prior to the six-week summer recess beginning in August. Senator McConnell has begun to hint that goal may not be attainable, however, because of divisions within the Republican caucus.

The delay by the Senate on healthcare has prompted Republican leadership to try to fast-track bipartisan legislation, including NAIOP-supported energy legislation governing the development of energy-efficiency codes for commercial buildings. The bill, S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, originally sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), could bypass the committee process and go directly to a floor vote. NAIOP worked with Senate staff to include language requiring a rule-making process for industry input, and that codes be economically and technically feasible. The prior Portman-Shaheen bill failed to advance when negotiations stalled in the last Congress.

Having passed their version of a healthcare bill, the House of Representatives plans to continue moving toward comprehensive tax reform legislation. This week, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy, chaired by Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL), will hold a hearing on July 13 on the impact of tax reform on small business. The hearing will be the third held by the committee as it moves to develop a bill that most anticipate will be ready this September.

Paul Ryan: Tax Reform Will Happen in 2017

Posted on July 10, 2017

With health care legislation moving along, House Speaker Paul Ryan is eager to pivot to tax reform. During a June 20 speech at the National Association of Manufacturers, the speaker discussed the GOP Blueprint for Tax Reform. He said the plan will eliminate certain taxes, including the Alternative Minimum Tax, and vows it will “clear out special-interest carve outs and excessive deductions, and focus on keeping those that make the most sense: home ownership, charitable giving, and retirement savings.” Finally, he promised to use the savings from closing loopholes to decrease tax rates.

For his part, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady says, “What we are hearing from our local businesses is: go bold, go permanent, and go now.”

NAIOP’s government affairs staff meets regularly with lawmakers to discuss tax reform legislation and to voice concerns regarding proposals that could harm the CRE industry. That includes measures that would eliminate or limit real estate like-kind exchanges under Section 1031 of the tax code, and end the capital gains treatment for real estate partnership “carried interests.”

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House Advances Legislation for Brownfield Development, Air Pollution Standards

Posted on June 26, 2017

Last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Environment voted unanimously to advance the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act of 2017, which would reauthorize the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfield program for the first time since 2006. The program provides funding to states for the cleanup and repurposing of contaminated industrial and commercial sites.

Because of the threat of contamination, as well as liability and other cost concerns, developers and lenders tend to avoid brownfield sites. The EPA program, therefore, plays a major role in helping get projects off the ground in communities across the country. Since its inception in 1995, it has yielded a substantial return on taxpayers’ investment: On average, each dollar spent on brownfield cleanup has leveraged $17.54 of private investment. The program also boosts nearby property values and has resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs.

The subcommittee also approved H.R. 806, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, which would delay implementation of the EPA’s controversial new ozone standards and allow the agency to take into account economic and technological feasibility when setting standards in the future. H.R. 806 would also require the EPA to submit a report to Congress detailing the impact of foreign pollution on compliance with these standards.

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House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Tax Reform

Posted May 18, 2017

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has scheduled a hearing of the full committee for this Thursday, May 18, intended to show how tax reform will grow the economy by generating investments and creating jobs. The hearing is the first major action the committee has taken since President Donald Trump announced his tax reform plan – a broad statement of overarching goals with little detail.

In announcing the hearing, Chairman Brady said that the committee would hear “from witnesses about specific policy proposals that deliver the most economic growth and how our ideas will directly help hardworking taxpayers and the businesses that create jobs across America.”

The hearing is seen as a first step by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Brady to revive interest in features of their tax reform plan which have garnered strong opposition among Senate Republicans, including a “border adjustment tax” that would raise the costs of imported goods by 20 percent. Also controversial are provisions of the House plan that would affect commercial real estate, including the elimination of Section 1031 like-kind exchanges, the loss of deductibility of business debt interest, and issues concerning the continued capital gains tax treatment of real estate partnership carried interests.

County Manager Discusses Code Enforcement Improvements with REBIC

Posted: May 10, 2017

During a recent visit with REBIC, County Manager Dena Diorio discussed LUESA’s ongoing implementation of a new Electronic Plans Management system, as well as other technology improvements currently under development. Here are some key takeaways from the conversation:

Q: What can Code Enforcement customers expect in terms of improvements form the replacement of the electronic plans management system? 

A: The following are some of the major improvements that are being designed for the upgrade:

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