Real Estate Roundtable's DeBoer: "Our Industry is At War"

This comes via the twitter feed of Barbi Reuter. Jeffrey DeBoer, president and CEO of the Real Estate Roundtable, delivered some sharp comments today at TREP conference per a live blog of the show being compiled by the The Commercial Tenant Resource blog. Some of this is in response to the battle over the taxation of carried interest--a fight that the industry appears to be losing.

DeBoer's comments seek to rally the troops.

* Our industry is at war; we need to get our act together. We need to act as an cohesively as an industry or Congress will pick us apart. Now is the time to up the ante and participate.

* Call Members of Congress and let them know how you feel. They are very isolated now, and spend their days huddled with staff or voting. They have very long days. At night, they see lobbyist. Very little engagement with US Citizens; they need to hear about real life and real issues with the real estate industry.

* Member of Congress DO call Jeff and ask how they can help real estate. Many are very concerned including Bob Menendez from NJ, Kent Conrad from North Dakota, and John Kerry from Massachusetts.

* Since real estate is everywhere, we are no where. There is no “senator from real estate” like many other industries.

* The “carried interest” bill will double the takes on certain gains in real estate. Today the rate is 15%. If the bill passes, the rate goes to 32% and then to 38% plus a 3.8% Medicaid tax.

* We are at war as an industry. There is a continuing battle to increase the taxes on capital gains in real estate. Risk takers and capitalists are being penalized with more and more taxes.

* Values are down 30-50% from their highs nationwide.

* In order to get the system going again, we need substantial amounts of equity. We are facing a liquidity crisis. There is a lot of equity ready to “play” but it does not equal the $1.2 Trillion in CRE debt that is in the process of maturing.

* Security: The Roundtable is assembling a list of all major US Assets and their true owners and managers. This well help with Federal Government make contact with ownership in times of crisis. Also, Roundtable is actively advising owners about security best practices.

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