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Lawmakers Pass $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill; PPP Deadline Extended

House lawmakers last week passed the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 2), a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that has been a key priority for Democrats since 2018. However, the bill advanced on a mostly party-line vote – with only a handful of members on either side breaking ranks – suggesting its prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate are likely dim. 

The chamber’s Majority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), later confirmed that sentiment, saying: “This so-called infrastructure bill would siphon billions in funding from actual infrastructure to funnel into climate change policies… It will just join the list of absurd House proposals that were only drawn up to show fealty to the radical left.” 

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NAIOP June Coronavirus Impacts Survey Results

Originally published on June 23, 2020 by Shawn Moura Ph.D.

Last week, NAIOP conducted its third survey of its U.S. members on how the novel coronavirus has affected their businesses and local markets. The survey examines the outbreak’s effects on conditions in commercial real estate and evaluates how firms have responded. The June survey results reveal that development conditions have continued to improve since May.

For the first time, NAIOP is publishing data it has collected on rent payments and tenant requests for rent relief over the last three surveys. As with other metrics, these data reveal gradual improvement in market conditions since April.

The survey was completed by 351 NAIOP members between June 15 and 17, 2020. Respondents represent a range of professions, including developers, building owners, building managers, brokers, lenders and investors.

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WATCH: The Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate Valuation and Leasing Webinar

The economic disruptions from COVID-19 have had significant impact on the credit quality of tenants, building occupancy and demand from buyers, resulting in substantial uncertainty in the valuation of commercial real estate and complexity in the accounting for lease modifications.

John Thomas, CEO of Physicians Realty Trust, and Dennis Power, CFO of the Opus Group, shared their experiences with tenant collections, lease concessions, market demand, and the resulting impacts on real estate valuation across their market niches. Brent Maier provided his view on the impacts he has seen in his role as the leader of Baker Tilly’s real estate transaction advisory services team while Mike Kamienski and David Jamiolkowski, also from Baker Tilly, shared their view of how these issues will impact financial reporting from a real estate impairment and lease accounting perspective. Don’t miss this discussion of critical topics so you understand the valuation and leasing impacts from COVID-19.

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Changes for Paycheck Protection Program, Opportunity Zone Guidance, and Action on Infrastructure

Originally published by NAIOP on June 9, 2020.

Last week, the Senate unanimously passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010). The legislation eases a number of requirements that must be met in order for PPP loans to be forgiven. Notably, H.R. 7010 extends the “covered period” during which PPP loans must be spent on eligible funds, from 8 to 24 weeks, and allows recipients to use up to 40% of loans on non-payroll expenses, up from the previous cap of 25%. Shortly after passage, President Donald Trump signed the measure into law. 

Recognizing the impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on businesses, the Treasury Department also took action on Thursday, releasing new guidance that offers relief to Opportunity Zone (OZ) investors. As a result, individuals and firms will be granted additional time to roll qualified gains into an OZ fund and can avoid penalties if “reasonable cause” is demonstrated. 

Opening Salvo in Phase IV Negotiations Passes House of Representatives

Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 208-199 a Democratic-backed coronavirus economic recovery bill, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. House Democratic leadership drafted the legislation without Republican input and unveiled it earlier in the week, leading Republican leadership to dismiss it as a partisan exercise.

While the HEROES Act will not be taken up by the Senate, the bill serves as an important opening salvo by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as negotiations continue between the House, Senate and the Trump administration on a “Phase IV” economic stimulus bill.

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House Democrats Developing “Phase IV” Legislation

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democratic leaders are working on a bill that could spend as much as $2 trillion more on coronavirus relief. A significant portion of that will be directed toward states and local governments, which are suffering a loss of tax revenues because of ongoing shutdowns.

Other priorities include an expansion of unemployment insurance and additional funding for the U.S. Postal Service. The bill could also include spending on infrastructure.

While House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) told local leaders that he supports spending on infrastructure as one way to help state and local governments stimulate their economies, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he opposes that. “Infrastructure is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic that we're all experiencing and trying to figure out how to go forward,” McConnell said.

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What You Should Know About OZ and 1031 Exchange Deadline Extensions

Originally published by Phil Jelsma for Commerical Property Executive

The coronavirus outbreak has prompted multiple deadline extensions by the Internal Revenue Service, many of which have major implications for commercial real estate investors.

On Thursday, April 9, the IRS issued Notice 2020-23, which extends several time-sensitive tax deadlines including those for Section 1031 Exchanges and Opportunity Zone Investments.

In a Section 1031 exchange, which allows deferral of capital gains taxes on the sale of certain investment properties, an investor who sells real estate held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment can defer taxes if the investor identifies replacement properties within 45 days of the sale and within 180 days of the sale completes the acquisition of one or more replacement properties. The new IRS guidance extends both the 45-day deadline and the 180-day deadline, if those deadlines would have expired on or after April 1, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Thus, if the investor’s identification period was open as of April 1, 2020, it is automatically extended to July 15, 2020. Similarly, if the 45‑day identification period had expired before April 1, 2020, but the 180-day exchange period was open as of April 1, 2020, the 180-day exchange period is extended to July 15, 2020. This creates some interesting situations.

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Lawmakers Work to Get Economic Aid Flowing

The federal government is scrambling to deliver economic help to the American economy under difficult circumstances. A key step is getting the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) up and running. SBA posted its interim final rule to govern the program last Thursday. There have been some glitches, but the SBA began granting loans last Friday, and banks are continuing to work this week to process additional loan applications. Information on the SBA’s loan programs and application information is located here.

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Mecklenburg County Amends Stay at Home Order

Today Mecklenburg County issued guidance, in conjunction with the Canopy Realtor® Association and Canopy MLS. 
Please read this information closely to ensure you are staying safe while maintaining business as needed.
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NAIOP Commends House, Senate on CARES Act

NAIOP commends the U.S. House for today's passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), following the U.S. Senate's passage on Thursday. We expect President Donald Trump to sign it into law shortly.\

The CARES Act will provide critical relief as businesses and individuals strive to manage the economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing our work with elected leaders on next steps, as well as supporting our members and the industry as we weather this crisis and plan for the future. 


Items in the legislation important to NAIOP members and commercial real estate include:

  • An aggressive loan program for small businesses, many of which are commercial real estate tenants, that is designed to help them meet their financial obligations and keep their employees on payrolls over the next few months. The loans, which are forgivable, will provide many of our tenants with needed liquidity to keep them operating during the crisis.
     
  • A much needed technical correction in the tax code for leasehold improvements, or Qualified Improvement Property (QIP). The Tax cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) mistakenly made QIP depreciable over 39 years instead of 15, and ineligible for bonus (100% depreciation). The CARES Act fixes that, ensuring that those who made these investments in 2018 and 2019 can file amended returns and recover any overpaid taxes.
     
  • Net Operating Loss (NOL) rule changes allow businesses to carry back for 5 years any losses from 2018, 2019 and 2020, and losses carried forward can offset 100% of taxable income.

Additional provisions in the CARES Act and other federal actions already taken will be much-needed help for our economy.


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Congress, States Struggle to Deal with Coronavirus

Senate lawmakers cancelled a planned recess and will instead remain at work in Washington, D.C., this week, where they will take up a bill passed by the House of Representatives last week that seeks to provide immediate economic relief from the effects of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. 

The House voted overwhelmingly, 363-40, to approve the measure, for which President Donald Trump had signaled support. The Wall Street Journal reported: “The new measure would still provide two weeks of sick leave to a wide swath of workers affected by the pandemic, including those who are in quarantine, caring for family members with Covid-19, and those who have children whose schools or day-care centers have closed.” The bill would also make free testing for the coronavirus available.

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Congress, States Struggle to Deal with Coronavirus

Originally published on March 17, 2020. 

Senate lawmakers cancelled a planned recess and will instead remain at work in Washington, D.C., this week, where they will take up a bill passed by the House of Representatives last week that seeks to provide immediate economic relief from the effects of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. 

The House voted overwhelmingly, 363-40, to approve the measure, for which President Donald Trump had signaled support. The Wall Street Journal reported: “The new measure would still provide two weeks of sick leave to a wide swath of workers affected by the pandemic, including those who are in quarantine, caring for family members with Covid-19, and those who have children whose schools or day-care centers have closed.” The bill would also make free testing for the coronavirus available.

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2019 REBIC Voter Guide

Posted on October 31, 2019

The Real Estate & Building Industry Coalition (REBIC) has published their 2019 Voter Guide for the General Elections of Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties.  You can access the Voter Guide on REBIC's blog "The Loop" and here.