Thursday, March 17, 2011

'CRE Act 'Aims To Make Equity Investments More Attractive Via Tax Breaks

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) is aggressively lobbying the U.S. Congress in support of legislation to provide short term tax incentives to jump start re-investment in commercial real estate.

A good idea that is long overdue, IMHO.

I can envision the House of Representatives jumping on this, though in the Senate it will be a tougher sell, as many individuals in the political party that controls that body of Congress tend to sneer at, and disbelieve, the power of such tax breaks.

The CRE Act offers tax incentives that would make new equity investments far more attractive. The key provision is that 80 percent of the newly invested capital must be used to reduce the outstanding balance on the commercial loan, with the balance to be used for capital improvements such as increased energy efficiency, and leasehold improvements to attract new tenants.

HR 1147 is a no-brainer that should be passed if this Congress and the White House is serious about the economy. I do want to take a closer look at the legislation to make sure there are no legal landmines, nor bizarre strings attached that make implementation problematic.

But on its face, it is a win-win for everyone in my book.

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