Advocating For Change

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its members went to Capitol Hill to advocate for the Invest in America Act (H.R. 2210), which would repeal the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA).

“Under FIRPTA, global investment is discouraged in the United States and investors are driven to other countries,” said AIA EVP/CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “The Invest in America Act will put the United States on equal footing in the competition for investment dollars, which can be put directly into American communities through partnerships with local and state governments. This will result in meaningful jobs not only for architects but other professionals in design and construction as well as manufacturing and service industries.”

During meetings with House lawmakers and congressional staff, architects from large firms across the country educated legislators on benefits of the Invest in America Act, which has the potential to create as many as 284,000 American jobs and attract as much as $125 billion in global investment in United States communities. Investments would support addressing America’s aging buildings and crumbling infrastructure.

The legislation does so by repealing FIRPTA. Originally enacted in 1980, FIRPTA is an arcane tax that deflects global capital from United States cities and towns by imposing a capital gains tax on global investors that finance any United States real property. Consequently, the law greatly inhibits state and local leaders from partnering with global investors, in addition to leveraging domestic partners, to improve their communities, including renovating aging buildings; constructing roads, bridges, tunnels, hospitals, and airports; developing affordable housing; and utilizing new Opportunity Zones.

A partial repeal of FIRPTA occurred in 2015 with passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. Changes to the law increased global investment in United States cities of all sizes and locations by 33%, proving that a full repeal would have a significant benefit to many more state and local economies.

AIA and The Real Estate Roundtable pledged support for the Invest in America Act, which was introduced by United States Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Kenny Marchant (R-TX) in April.

More information on the Invest in America Act can be found online.

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