For Immediate Release
July 22, 1999

Contact: Laura Armstrong or Jay Hyde
(202) 739-9400


Washington, D.C. -- The following is a statement by Steven A. Wechsler, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts® (NAREIT), in regarding the inclusion of the Real Estate Investment Trust Modernization Act of 1999 (S. 1057) in the Taxpayer Refund Act of 1999, as passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

"Showing confidence in the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bill Roth included the language of the REIT Modernization Act in the Taxpayer Refund Act of 1999, which the Senate Finance Committee approved this week. Enacting the provisions contained in the REIT Modernization Act will provide REITs the ability to offer more and better services to tenants and other customers. The House of Representatives embraced these same provisions in H.R. 2488, which was passed yesterday.

In addition, this legislation would return REITs to the 90% distribution requirement applicable to mutual funds. A return to this standard, which was in place from 1960 to 1980, would allow REITs to retain more after-tax capital. We also are pleased that the Committee agreed to lower the write-off of the costs of tenant improvements from 39 years to 15 years to better match economic realities.

By making it possible for anyone to own income-producing property anywhere in America, REITs and publicly traded real estate are making an important contribution to the nation's economic growth and prosperity."

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The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trustsâ (NAREIT) is the national trade association for REITs and publicly traded real estate companies. Members are real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other businesses that own, operate and finance income-producing real estate, as well as those firms and individuals who advise, study and service those businesses.