CCIM Feature

Capitol Perspective

“Commercial real estate professionals have a vital role in supporting economic development because they are the ones who coordinate the deals that lead to job creation in our communities,” says U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, who is currently serving his second term representing Ohio’s 15th congressional district. “The construction industry was one of the hardest-hit sectors during the recession. We need to do more to get these individuals back to work because it leads to more jobs in retail centers, office buildings, factories, and other industrial properties.”

Stivers, who has advocated for issues that favorably impact commercial real estate throughout his political career, received the 2014 CCIM/IREM Legislator of the Year Award during the organizations’ Capitol Hill Visit on April 9. “I’m extremely honored to receive this award,” Stivers says. “I ran for Congress so I could make a difference in Washington by encouraging economic growth and job creation. The real estate industry comprises over 20 percent of our economy and I believe Congress must create policies to grow this sector.”

One of the most critical issues impacting the industry right now is the reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, Stivers says. “Without TRIA, commercial properties will face difficulty obtaining or refinancing their debt. I’ve been supportive of a long-term reauthorization of the program and it is my hope that we can pass a reauthorization bill out of the House Financial Services Committee in the near future.”

Impending tax reform proposals may also have significant ramifications for commercial real estate owners and investors. “The most important thing CCIM members can do [to inform their congressional leaders] is to explain the role taxes play in the decision-making process for their clients,” Stivers says. “For example, would one still invest in a property if the depreciation schedule was longer? What affect would eliminating like-kind exchanges have on developers’ ability to assemble land?”

Stivers emphasizes the importance of educating lawmakers on the key issues. “Most have not worked in the real estate industry and do not take these factors and questions into mind. It always helps lawmakers when constituents, business owners, and industry professionals take the time to explain how these provisions would affect their business if they were to be changed,” he adds.

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