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Wealthy real estate developers like Trump score a huge tax break in the stimulus bill

The Senate approved a historic, $2 trillion stimulus package to provide a jolt to an economy reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. CNN's Cristina Alesci reports.

Posted: Mar 26, 2020 9:23 AM
Updated: Mar 27, 2020 6:30 PM


The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed by the Senate provides aid for average consumers and small businesses -- but there's also a lucrative tax break for wealthy real estate developers.

That's because the stimulus bill removes limits on the amount of losses that wealthy investors can use to offset taxes, by writing down the gradual depreciation of assets like real estate. Those limits were put into place as part of President Trump's 2017 tax reform bill.

The New York Times was the first to report this nuance in the stimulus bill, which can be found in a brief section on page 203 of the 880-page document. The Times also cited a draft congressional analysis that said this part of the stimulus bill would lead to $170 billion in tax breaks over ten years.

Originally, the 2017 tax bill let wealthy investors use depreciation to offset the first $500,000 of capital gains from investments each year.

But according to an analysis from law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, taxpayers 'with unused losses arising in 2018, 2019 or 2020 that paid tax in one or more of the five preceding tax years will be able to immediately file amended returns.'

That is particularly beneficial for the real estate industry. And that fact is raising alarm bells given the ties that President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have to that particular business.

'As if Jared Kushner's involvement in coronavirus response wasn't already preposterous enough...now we learn that there's a huge tax giveaway for people like him and his family in the stimulus package,' said the nonprofit legal aid group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in a tweet.

Senate Democrats have pointed out that the stimulus package bars The Trump Organization, which owns stakes in several hotels, golf courses and resorts, from receiving any direct aid via loans.

The NAIOP, a trade group for commercial real estate developers, defended the stimulus bill, saying in a statement that new rules reverse an 'error' in the 2017 tax overhaul that resulted in a 39-year depreciation period for expenses related to property improvement.

The NAIOP added that the tax changes in the stimulus bill will be good for both landlords and their small business tenants.

The fact that some industries might be getting what is viewed as a juicy tax break won't sit well with many Americans. But the rush to get a bill passed made such perks inevitable, according to Nela Richardson, an investment strategist with Edward Jones.

'To a certain degree the government is picking winners and losers in the stimulus bill and we will probably see it become even more political,' Richardson said. 'But it is important for stimulus to be passed in order to put a floor on the financial hit from the coronavirus and stabilize the economy.'

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37542

Reported Deaths: 1272
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds304154
DeSoto200920
Madison150839
Jones123149
Harrison118316
Rankin113719
Neshoba104577
Forrest104343
Lauderdale97281
Scott83115
Jackson80419
Washington75313
Copiah67516
Leake63520
Lee63022
Grenada6259
Oktibbeha62328
Warren60021
Holmes59841
Lamar5847
Wayne56819
Yazoo5667
Lowndes54917
Leflore53956
Lincoln53835
Pike51120
Lafayette5094
Sunflower5058
Panola4616
Monroe46036
Simpson4533
Covington4505
Bolivar41618
Tate39513
Attala38624
Newton37710
Adams36720
Pontotoc3636
Marion34912
Claiborne31511
Pearl River30832
Chickasaw30219
Winston30211
Marshall2973
Jasper2826
Noxubee2799
Walthall2748
Clay26211
Smith25612
Union25612
Coahoma2356
Clarke22825
Lawrence2162
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1974
Montgomery1863
Kemper18414
Carroll18311
Humphreys17410
Calhoun1705
Hancock15213
Itawamba1478
Tippah14711
Jefferson1373
Webster13511
Prentiss1274
Tunica1263
George1253
Jefferson Davis1254
Greene11610
Alcorn1112
Amite1113
Tishomingo1091
Quitman1011
Wilkinson1019
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin572
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 56441

Reported Deaths: 1136
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7012170
Mobile5061140
Montgomery4599112
Tuscaloosa274353
Madison25359
Marshall205012
Shelby176425
Lee164737
Morgan13975
Baldwin134111
Walker111332
Elmore107622
Etowah106914
Dallas10189
DeKalb10017
Franklin95016
Unassigned77728
Autauga71515
Russell7130
Chambers68530
Cullman6686
Limestone6653
Butler65529
Houston6417
Tallapoosa63069
Lauderdale6006
St. Clair5983
Calhoun5545
Colbert5286
Escambia5128
Lowndes49222
Pike4805
Jackson4422
Coffee4364
Covington43512
Talladega4177
Dale4061
Barbour4022
Bullock37810
Hale36323
Marengo36111
Chilton3452
Blount3311
Clarke3236
Wilcox3158
Marion30914
Winston3095
Sumter29713
Pickens2786
Randolph2759
Monroe2683
Perry2552
Conecuh2388
Bibb2271
Macon2229
Choctaw22012
Greene2009
Henry1573
Washington1529
Lawrence1460
Crenshaw1343
Cherokee1317
Geneva1010
Fayette901
Clay892
Lamar891
Coosa671
Cleburne481
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