Emergency Economic Stabilization Act Signed into Law

Journal of Property Management, January-February 2009 | Go to article overview

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act Signed into Law


IN EARLY OCTOBER 2008, Congress acted quickly to pass legislation in an effort to repair the U.S. economy. The Senate amended the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" bill and passed it by a vote of 74 to 25 on October 1, 2008. Two days later the House voted 223 to 205 to approve of the Senate's changes. Hours later, the President signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 into law. Provisions of the 451-page law that are of particular interest to IREM Members are highlighted below.

HIGHLIGHTS OF TAX PROVISIONS:

Extends the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction for five years, through December 31, 2013. Current law allows taxpayers to deduct the cost of energy-efficient property installed in commercial buildings. The amount deductible is up to $1.80 per square foot of building floor area for buildings achieving a 50 percent energy savings target. The energy savings must be accomplished through energy and power cost reductions for the building's heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water, and interior lighting systems.

Provides AMT relief. The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was created in 1969 to prevent a small number of wealthy Americans from evading taxes. The AMT has come to affect more people every year because it is not indexed for inflation. This law prevents 26 million Americans from paying more taxes this year.

Natural disaster tax relief. Provides temporary tax relief for areas damaged by severe storms, tornados and flooding in the Midwest during 2008. Also, temporary tax-exempt bond financing and low-income housing tax relief for areas damaged by Hurricane Ike.

Extends leasehold improvements. Extends the 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements and qualified restaurant improvements through January 1, 2010 for property placed in service after December 31, 2007. Extends the 15-year recovery period for depreciation of certain improvements to retail space through January 1, 2010 for property placed in service after December 31, 2008.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TROUBLED ASSET RELIEF PROGRAM:

Purchases of troubled assets. …

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