Invest in America Coalition Applauds FIRPTA Reform Efforts in Congresss
Bipartisan Legislation will reform the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA)
Bill Will Open Door to Billions of Dollars in Investments for the U.S. Economy
(Washington, DC) July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Invest in America Coalition today applauded Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) for their leadership in supporting bipartisan reform to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA). The Congressmen held a press conference to introduce The Real Estate Investment and Jobs Act of 2013, and were accompanied by leaders from both businesses and labor unions, including Jeff DeBoer, President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable; Ken Rigmaiden, General President for The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; and John Zuccotti, Co-Chairman of Brookfield Properties Corporation.
If enacted, the Real Estate Investment and Jobs Act, a companion to the Senate bill S. 1181, will reform an outdated portion of the U.S. tax code that discourages foreign investment in U.S. commercial real estate at a time when it is important to keep America’s economic recovery moving forward.
“When the FIRPTA laws were passed 30 years ago, foreign institutions had few options if they wanted to invest in real estate outside their home countries,” said Jim Fetgatter, Chief Executive for the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate. “Today, investors have a wide range of opportunities as local barriers have been lifted and emerging markets have matured. The U.S. is now competing on a global scale for investment capital, and these reforms are necessary to help ensure the U.S. remains an attractive destination for commercial real estate investments.”
Putting foreign investment on an equal tax footing with other asset classes will unlock billions of dollars in new, long term investable capital to flow into the U.S. commercial real estate market. In return, this capital will help jump-start credit markets, fund infrastructure projects, and create jobs and economic opportunities in industries dependent upon commercial real estate.
Trades dependent on the commercial real estate industry, including carpentry, painting and electrical work, among others, would see an increase in demand following FIRPTA reform, resulting in more job opportunities and an increase in living standards for workers and their families.
“In this economy, every avenue that may lead to creating more jobs must be considered,” said the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades General President Ken Rigmaiden. “Passing this bipartisan bill to reform FIRPTA will spur much needed growth in commercial development and provide new work that men and women in construction so greatly need.”
With approximately 12 million Americans still unemployed after the recession, a flood in commercial real estate investment would also provide the means for tenants like shopping centers and large companies to hire more American workers.
“Although the economy seems to be coming back, the availability of capital continues to handicap a full recovery,” said Michael P. Kercheval, President and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “Reintroduction of the Real Estate Investment and Jobs Act and its subsequent enactment will greatly help with the free flow of appropriately priced capital to our industry.”
Members of Congress are urged to join support efforts to reform FIRPTA by co-sponsoring the Real Estate Investment and Jobs Act. Citizens and interested parties are encouraged to express support of the bill to their local Members of Congress.