In October 2016 then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was joined by his family at a ribbon-cutting for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., a project that transformed a classic post office into luxury lodging and benefited from a federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic properties that the Reagan tax reform of 1981 embraced. The fate of that historic tax credit remains uncertain in the current GOP tax plan, which the Senate hopes to push through before week's end.
The House removed the tax credit entirely from its bill, while the Senate has added a version of it back into its tax-reform language, though in a potentially weakened form and one that is still subject to alteration.
For small-town entrepreneurs like Jason Duff, a real estate entrepreneur from a county in the swing state of Ohio, where Trump received 76 percent of the vote last November, this tax irony is hitting hard: "I am really impacted by the disappearance of the 20 percent federal historic-building tax credit," Duff said.
His company, Bellefontaine Ohio Properties — which operates stores, restaurants and other real estate — takes the risk of rehabbing old buildings on Main Street, and it's a risk the tax code has encouraged over the past four decades.