Senate removes extended tax exemptions for REIT investments
Lawmakers removed larger exemptions for real estate investment trust stock purchases in a bill signed by President Obama Tuesday. The House of Representatives version of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act would have extended the tax exemption for REIT stock sold from 5% to 10% ownership interest. The House passed the bill on July 30, but when it went to the Senate, changes were made. On Dec. 17, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced an amendment to remove all provisions from the original House bill and replaced it with language relating to the appointment of employees in tax courts. The revamped bill went back to the House, which passed the amendments, sending it to Obama Dec. 22. Even with the disappointment of losing the exemption, REITs have performed well in 2010. TheStreet reported Tuesday that the Dow Jones All REIT Total Return Index grew 28% this year, doubling the S&P 500 Index. The draft of the legislation provided by THOMAS did not include the updated version of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. Write to Jon Prior.