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Trump's Tax Bill Met With Mixed Reviews Among CRE Industry


President Donald Trump's new tax reform bill has been met with mixed reviews throughout the commercial real estate industry.


The U.S. House of Representatives released the bill, called The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act proposal, last week, revealing that two major industry tax breaks — the like-kind 1031 exchange and the carried interest tax break — have been preserved.

The like-kind exchange allows businesses to save millions by trading in older assets for something new, while the carried interest tax break is used by financial managers to cut their tax rates in half. It was originally put in place to incentivize long-term investment, CNBC reports.

The proposal does aim to close a loophole that some hedge funds have been accused of exploiting. In the past, hedge funds were only required to hold on to investments for one year in order to be eligible to receive capital gains rates of 23.8%. 

During his campaign, Trump was vocal about the carried-interest tax break and claimed some hedge fund managers were “getting away with murder,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Under the proposed bill, hedge funds would still be able to use the carried interest rule, but would have to abide by a two-year holding period put in place to benefit long-term venture capitalists and real estate partnerships, CNBC reports.

While many in the commercial real estate industry are viewing this as a positive, CoStar reports, not everyone is convinced the bill will be a step in the right direction. 

Though the proposed overhaul would retain the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which pertains to the construction and preservation of low-income housing units, it eliminates the private-activity bonds, Curbed reports

This could lead to a serious drop in low-income housing construction because developers would no longer be eligible for the 4% credit available to projects funded, at least in part, through tax-exempt private-activity bonds. The bonds currently account for an estimated 60% of affordable rental housing built or renovated annually, Curbed reports.

Tax reform legislation is expected to pass by Thanksgiving.