The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and The Real Estate Roundtable (RER) are pledging support for the Invest in America Act (H.R. 2210), which was unveiled by U.S. Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Kenny Marchant (R-TX).
The legislation has the potential to create as many as 284,000 American jobs and attract as much as $125 billion in global investment in U.S. communities, which would support addressing America’s aging buildings and crumbling infrastructure.
The legislation does so by repealing the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA). Originally enacted in 1980, FIRPTA is an arcane tax that deflects global capital from U.S. cities and towns by imposing a capital gains tax on global investors that finance any U.S. real property. Consequently, the law inhibits state and local leaders from partnering with global investors—in addition to leveraging domestic partners—to improve their communities, including renovating aging buildings; constructing roads, bridges, tunnels, hospitals and airports; developing affordable housing; and utilizing new Opportunity Zones.
“Under current law, global investment is discouraged in the U.S. and investors are driven to other countries,” says AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. “This legislation will put the U.S. on equal footing in the competition for investment dollars, which can be put directly into American communities through partnerships with local and state governments. This will result in meaningful jobs not only for architects but other professionals in design and construction as well as manufacturing and service industries.”
A partial repeal of FIRPTA occurred in 2015 with passage of the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act.” Changes to the law increased global investment in U.S. cities of all sizes and locations by 33 percent, proving that a full repeal would have a significant benefit to many more state and local economies.
“The FIRPTA regime is an anti-competitive outlier that deflects global capital to other countries,” says RER President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer. “Our infrastructure challenges demand a holistic approach and innovative solutions. Now is the time to build on the recent success of the 2015 reforms by eliminating FIRPTA outright and unlocking private capital for even more job growth and infrastructure improvements.”