Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mortgage Deduction, Commercial Lead Paint Disclosure, Lease Accounting and Dodd-Frank Among Critical Issues Facing CRE Owners

Unwritten rules implementing Dodd-Frank, mortgage interest deduction elimination, lease accounting, commercial property lead paint proposals .....

What do these items have in common? If you guessed they all are proposals before members of the U.S. Congress, and highly detrimental to commercial property owners and commerce depending on which way the political winds blow, you would be correct!

The pages below are forwarded from Central Ohio colleague Greg Hrabcak, a fellow commercial real estate practitioner at Real Living: The Commercial Partnership, who is involved on the national level with the National Association of Realtors' government affairs division.

In the Issue Brief I have inserted below, I have highlighted in yello the major issues facing commercial real estate owners AND lessees. Those items with a green star next to the highlight are those issues which I believe merit particular scrutiny.

Keep in mind, in Washington DC there are few people or groups representing property owners -- whether they be owners of their own homes, or owners of commercial/investment property. As such, the National Association of Realtors is stepping up and launching an aggressive lobbying campaign to protect the interests of commercial/investment property owners and homeowners, alike. Such as the impact of the proposal that commercial buildings be mandated to submit to the same lead paint reporting requirements, etc. as required for residential structures. When was the last time you saw a child sitting in an office building eating paint chips? In addition, some of the lease accounting proposals are problematic, both for owners as well as lessees.

And don't even get me started on Dodd-Frank implementation. While well meaning, it is a clear illustration of the pendulum swinging too hard one way. For example, talk to anyone in this industry and you will get hugely divided opinions on whether the 84-year-old woman in Florida is allowed to sell her Ohio farm land for house development lots using land-grant financing. You know... owner financing. There is significant evidence to show she would be a felon if she did so. HUH? How does that protect anyone, or help spur property movement and development for the good of all? A great debate, to be sure, but just try to get a consistent answer to the very simple question out of lawmakers or their staff in Washington. You can't even get attorneys to agree on much of this, but on one thing about Dodd-Frank they generally concur. As voiced by one local counselor whom I trust: "I can tell you what you can't do, I just can't tell you what you can do."

Then there is the ridiculous proposal to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction.......

Whether you are a commercial/investment agent, broker, investor, lessee or asset manager -- at least one (and frequently several) of these "issues" impact you, your commercial property, and your bottom line.

If you are not familiar with these critical issues, take a moment to take a look. I promise you it's worth your time. Then pass it on .......

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