IBT: Tax reform creates a new tax break for large landlords and real estate moguls


The International Business Times is offering an explanation as to why GOP Sen. Bob Corker switched his vote for tax reform to a “yes.”

The reason is the addition of the so-called “Corker Kickback” to the tax reform, a provision that offers a 20% deduction for so-called “pass-through” entities, such as LLCs, LPs, and S-Corporations, according to IBT. These entities do not pay corporate taxes, instead they “pass through” the income to company partners who pay individual taxes on it. 

Reporting by Josh Keefe, Alex Kotch and David Sirota goes into deeper details, but here’s the summary:

The new provision, which wasn’t included in either version of the bill passed by the House and Senate, and was only added during the reconciliation process, gives owners of income-producing real estate holdings a way around that safeguard, effectively creating a new tax break for large landlords and real estate moguls.

“The new bill expands the pass through loophole to now even cover firms that don’t pay much or any wages to employees. Real estate partnerships and others with property but not employees would be the beneficiaries,” David Kamin, a New York University law professor who served as a special assistant to the president for economic policy in the Obama administration, told IBT in an email.

Phil Mattingly, writing for CNN, dismisses some of the IBT claim and brushes off what he called the “Corker Kerfuffle”

The carve-out wasn’t “airdropped” in, as has been the accusation — it’s actually an offshoot of the House version of the pass-through language. The basic takeaway is this: any business with depreciable property — think manufacturing and yes, most definitely real estate, benefits from the carve-out.

Bottom line: This wasn’t the reason Corker flipped his vote — he says publicly he wasn’t aware, and privately aides directly involved in the process say he had nothing to do with it. But it does underscore one thing that’s true throughout the bill: Real estate, and by extension, the President, does very well throughout this legislation.

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