Tag: Federal Involvement in Real Estate

Representative Camp releases his proposal for tax reform. What does it mean for smart growth?

Yesterday Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced his proposal for comprehensive tax reform—and it has big implications for real estate and smart growth.

Each year Americans take billions of dollars worth of income tax deductions related to real estate. Things like the mortgage interest deduction and property tax deduction can represent big savings for a household—so big that they can influence taxpayers’ decisions about the type of home they buy. Even more credits are available to real estate developers, who can get tax breaks to help pay for things like redevelopment or the construction of low-income housing.

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House tax reform proposal a mixed bag on urban development issues

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) took the first step toward comprehensive tax reform yesterday and introduced a proposal that would have a mixed impact on communities’ efforts to grow in smart, economically efficient ways. Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, and Chris Leinberger, President of LOCUS, issued this joint statement in response:

“Above all, we’re glad Congress is finally tackling comprehensive tax reform. Hundreds of billions are currently spent through the tax code on housing and community development and much of this could be spent better than it is today. For anyone who wants to see these incentives achieve their maximum effect—helping Americans access good affordable housing choices in safe, stable, thriving communities, tax reform is a must.


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How could the next federal transportation bill better support smart growth real estate development?

Sound Transit in Seattle, WA was made possible in part by federal transportation funding. Photo by Flickr user Sean Marshall.

Real estate developers everywhere are familiar with the federal programs and regulations involved with building transit-oriented development. With the federal surface transportation bill due to expire early this fall, how could these programs and regulations be improved?

We want to hear from you. Join LOCUS for a conference call on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:00 PM EST to discuss federal transportation programs as they relate to smart growth development and how these programs can better support walkable, sustainable development.

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Top 10 of 2013: Finding ways for Congress to cut costs and help American families

33-billion

This month, we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight? Our recommendations for how Congress could improve how it supports real estate while saving billions of dollars at the same time.

The federal government spends approximately $450 billion each year on programs that influence the private real estate market. From loan guarantees to commercial tax credits, these programs span multiple agencies and were created at different times for different purposes over the past several decades. Perhaps as a result, there are problems with these programs.

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Smart Growth Implications of the CBO Deficit Reduction Report

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the nonpartisan federal agency that provides economic data to Congress, recently released a new report, “Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023”. The report presents over 100 options for reducing the federal deficit through spending changes and increasing revenue, some of which impact smart growth programs.

A few recommendations made by the CBO are relevant to recommendations that Smart Growth America made in its report, Federal Involvement Real Estate: A Call for Action, which evaluates options for saving the federal government billions of dollars per year by updating certain federal real estate programs to achieve better outcomes for households, communities and taxpayers.

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LOCUS developers to meet in Washington, DC next week and call for overhaul of federal real estate programs

LOCUS Winter Meeting
LOCUS members gathered earlier this year at the coalition’s winter meeting.

Federal real estate programs could be doing more for families, taxpayers and communities, and a national coalition of real estate developers and investors will convene in Washington, DC next week to advocate for changes to these enormous programs.

LOCUS, Smart Growth America’s coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, will gather in Washington and meet with members of Congress on October 8 and 9, 2013 to advocate for reforms to federal real estate programs that could broaden housing opportunities, revitalize cities and towns nationwide while saving taxpayers upwards of $33 billion a year.

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Rethink Real Estate: Reform the Federal Housing Administration’s Single Family Home Program

HUD Headquarters in Washington, DC
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters in Washington DC. Photo by Ryan Orr via Flickr.

This is the second in a series of posts discussing recommendations from our new platform Federal Investment in Real Estate: A Call for Action. The series highlights what is lacking in current federal real estate policy and how our recommended improvements could generate better returns for families, communities and taxpayers.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has helped millions of families purchase their homes, and ensures mortgages are widely available during times of economic distress when banks and other financial institutions tighten lending standards. As the housing market rebounds, however, it’s time to refocus this program on its original mission.

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Rethink Real Estate: Eliminate some rate subsidies from the National Flood Insurance Program

Clarksville, TN
Federally subsidized flood insurance makes it easier to build homes in flood-prone areas. Image via Wikimedia.

This is the first in a series of posts discussing recommendations from our new platform Federal Investment in Real Estate: A Call for Action. The series will highlight what is lacking in current federal real estate policy and how our recommended improvements could generate better returns for families, communities and taxpayers.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is intended to provide property owners and renters with a way to financially protect themselves from flood damage. Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the NFIP works closely with nearly 90 private insurance companies to offer flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners.

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No matter where you live, this affects you

No matter if you live in a single-family home, an apartment, a townhouse or a condo, federal real estate programs affect you.

From individual tax deductions to loan guarantees to commercial tax credits, these programs impact nearly every neighborhood in the United States. How could this spending better support economic growth? How could it better benefit individuals and families? And how could federal taxpayers get more for their money?

Join Smart Growth America and LOCUS, our coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, on Thursday as we answer these questions and discuss new ideas for federal involvement in real estate.

Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Action
Online teleconference and Twitter discussion
Thursday, July 25, 2013 – 11:00 AM EDT



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Join us for a live event on federal involvement in real estate

Federal real estate programs could be doing more for families, communities and taxpayers alike. Later this month we’ll unveil new policy recommendations for how Congress can make that happen.

Smart Growth America and LOCUS, our coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, have developed a set of policy recommendations for federal real estate programs. Join us for an online event about this new platform.

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