Elections and Reform


Suzann Silverman, editorial director

We are once again in the midst of a midterm election, and that circumstance is not promising for a number of real estate-influencing pieces of legislation. While the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act is generally expected to be passed in some form before it sunsets at the end of the year, the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act has languished amidst partisan strife, as has tax extenders, immigration reform, energy efficiency and Internet sales tax legislation, according to recent reports from the Real Estate Roundtable.

Indeed, while the policy group’s third-quarter Sentiment Index rose slightly, respondents expressed concern about furtherance of several of these elements. Most notably, one summed up, “We are subject to forces beyond our control because of a very dysfunctional group in Washington; the collective shortcomings of the group could negatively affect the best interests of the real estate industry going forward.”

Accordingly, with conflict between the political parties now settling into a regular rhythm of inaction, it’s no wonder our own recent Web poll about preferences for the election’s outcome saw a high level of activity, and even less surprising that respondents expressed a preference for an undivided Congress. Asked which projected election outcome would be most favorable to the health of the commercial real estate industry, 58 percent selected “Republicans sweep the Senate and hold onto their majority in the House,” while only 16 percent went for “Democrats retain the Senate and Republicans retain the House.” The remaining 26 percent found neither option very favorable.

Read the full article in the November 2014 issue of CPE. Access is free!