The NAR legislative team has been meeting with legislators regarding national commercial issues including 1031 exchange and EB-5. Additional conversation around deregulation and questions on financing and liquidity will remain a focus of 2017. CARW representatives will be in Washington DC advocating on these matters in mid-May. Other issue updates provided to the NAR Commercial Committee are below:
- Tax Reform: Tax reform is a priority of House Republicans, but it is moving along at a slower pace than expected. They are currently working to flesh out their “Blueprint” on tax reform into a bill, which could result in a proposal by April. The blueprint did not mention 1031s, but it is still a potential target, so NAR is continuing its advocacy efforts to protect 1031s, which includes participation in two industry coalitions, commissioning studies on the economic impact of 1031s, and meetings with Congressional leadership and the tax writing committees.
- Infrastructure spending: During his campaign, President Trump frequently promised a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which could provide many opportunities and positive benefits for commercial real estate. This is a potential opportunity for bipartisanship, as Senate Democrats have also indicated an interest in a large infrastructure bill. However, the two sides disagree on how to pay for it: the President has his eye on private investment, and Senate Democrats are looking at a federal spending bill. This disagreement could push back or potentially derail the project in the long-term.
- Dodd-Frank Reform:House Republicans are looking at reforms the Dodd-Frank regulations, which many blame for a tighter lending environment and disproportionate burdens on small lenders. A full repeal is unlikely (though some are pushing for it), but we may see legislation that better tailors existing regulations and/or draws back compliance requirements for regional and community banks.
- EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Programs Visa: The EB-5 Regional Center program was extended by the CR passed by Congress in December 2016 to keep the government operating, and will now expire on April 28, 2017. NAR is advocating for a long-term reauthorization with reforms to the program, but the political environment surrounding immigration issues right now is unstable, so the likelihood of that happening before the expiration date is low. NAR will continue to advocate for this program and to ensure that there are no gaps in its coverage
- Regulatory Reform: The President and House Republicans are eager to reduce federal regulations, especially those impacting spending and American business. To that end, the President signed a “1 in, 2 out” executive order, requiring that agencies remove two rules for every one new rule they create, and the House passed the “REINS Act,” which requires Congressional approval of all “major rules,” which are categorized as rules costing above $100 million/year.
- For more information, visit www.realtors.org or contact the association office