Capitol Report (March 12, 2012)

March 12, 2012

REITs Hike the Hill

NAREIT held its 2012 Washington Leadership Forum (WLF) in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 28 and 29. WLF is the annual opportunity for NAREIT members to meet with key policymakers in Congress and the Administration to discuss the industry's legislative agenda for the year and other key issues important to commercial real estate. During WLF, NAREIT also held leadership meetings with its Executive Board and Board of Governors.

On Feb. 28, Board members and invited guests heard from Neal Wolin, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, who commented on the current economic conditions and the efforts of the White House to keep the economic recovery moving forward. He also spoke briefly about the Obama Administration's recently released corporate tax reform plan and the Administration’s proposal to restructure the Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein spoke to the Board and discussed the ongoing Republican Presidential primary process, the upcoming Congressional elections, and the role of the economy in determining the outcomes of both.

REITPAC and NAREIT members held a reception to honor Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Budget and Finance Committees and a strong supporter of REITs and the publicly traded real estate industry since being elected to Congress more than twenty years ago. He provided tremendous leadership in 2000 when Congress created Taxable REIT Subsidiaries (TRS). As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, he will play an important role in the ongoing discussion in Congress on the budget and taxes.

During the Board dinner, NAREIT President and CEO Steve Wechsler presented the annual REITPAC awards in recognition of outstanding performance by NAREIT member companies in support of REITPAC. Both the REITPAC Leadership Award, presented to the company which collects the most funds - $64,450 in 2011 - for REITPAC, and the REITPAC Teamwork Award, presented to the company for having the most employees - 181 in 2011 -contribute to REITPAC during the year, went to The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies. The awards were accepted by CEO Dan Goodwin.

Later that evening during a dinner speech, Jon Huntsman, Jr., former Ambassador to China and former Governor of Utah, provided his insights on his recent campaign for the Republican nomination to be President of the United States. He expressed his views about the general political climate in the country and the need for all citizens to take a more active role in the country’s governance. Based on his past experience, he also added a unique insight on China and how he sees its role expanding on the world stage in future years.

On Feb. 29, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, addressed NAREIT members at a breakfast on Capitol Hill. His remarks focused on the need for both parties to come together to address the country’s current economic problems, and his desire to work with President Obama on initiatives regarding the Federal budget deficit, comprehensive tax reform, the need to pass a transportation reconstruction bill, and several other key proposals. He made a brief comment about the upcoming presidential and congressional elections and shared his views about working with his colleagues, especially the Republican freshmen class elected in 2010, to address the country’s deficit problems.

After the briefing by Speaker Boehner, NAREIT members began a series of meetings with various members of Congress in both the House and the Senate. On average, each executive was scheduled to visit with five policymakers. By day's end, a total of 54 different congressional offices were visited by NAREIT members (40 House offices and 14 Senate offices), a record number of visits for a WLF. As usual, almost all of the meetings were held with Members of Congress from both political parties and focused on those in leadership positions or who serve on a committee of importance to the REIT industry, e.g., the tax, banking and financial services committees. In addition, this year several meetings to discuss the e-Fairness issue were held with members who serve on the House Judiciary Committee, which will consider this subject later this year. A full listing of the congressional offices visited during WLF is located below.

During one of the congressional meetings, NAREIT Chair Don Wood presented NAREIT's 2012 Small Investor Empowerment Award to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), the current chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, for his understanding of the important role REITs play in portfolios of small investors, and for his consistent support of legislation to improve the environment for REITs and the publicly traded real estate industry. Visit REIT.com for a list of past recipients of the Small Investor Empowerment Award.

There were three main issues discussed in each congressional meeting: 1) encouraging non-U.S. equity investments in the commercial real estate industry by modifying the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, or FIRPTA; 2) achieving fairness in the collection of sales taxes between online and catalogue retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers; and, 3) the Update and Streamline REIT Act, or U.S. REIT Act, legislation to be introduced soon that would modify the REIT rules to provide greater operational flexibility and efficiency. In addition, the future roles Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will play in the mortgage REIT and multifamily housing sectors as Congress considers GSE reform legislation were discussed with members who serve on the Senate Banking and the House Financial Services Committees.

We thank all those executives who participated in this year's WLF for helping to educate Members of Congress about the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry. We invite you to join us next year in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 26 and 27, for NAREIT's 2013 Washington Leadership Forum.

Included below are photographs highlighting various meetings and speakers, and attendees, at this year's WLF. Additional pictures located on NAREIT's website.

February 28 - REITPAC Reception and NAREIT Board of Governors Dinner



Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) speaks to NAREIT members at a reception held in his honor.


NAREIT President and CEO Steve Wechsler (left) presents Daniel Goodwin, Executive Committee Chair, NAREIT's Public Non-Listed REIT Council and Chairman & CEO, The Inland Real Estate Group, Inc. (right) with the REITPAC Leadership Award and the REITPAC Teamwork Award. The REITPAC Teamwork Award is presented annually to the company that has the most employees who contribute over $100 to REITPAC. A total of 181 employees from The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. contributed to REITPAC last year. The Leadership Award is presented annually to the company that collectively raises the most money for REITPAC in a calendar year. In 2011, employees from The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc contributed $64,450.



Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China, 2009-2011 & Governor of Utah, 2005-2009, speaks at the Board of Governors Dinner.

February 29 - Breakfast Briefing


House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) addresses WLF attendees at breakfast prior to their beginning a full day of Capitol Hill meetings.

Capitol Hill Visits with Members of the 112th Congress


Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), a member of the Senate Finance Committee (fifth from left), met with (left to right) David Brain, President and CEO, Entertainment Properties Trust; Howard Nelson, Director, Government Relations, Colonial Properties Trust; NAREIT’s Treasurer Michael D. Fascitelli, III , President and CEO, Vornado Realty Trust; Samuel Zell, Chairman, Equity Group Investments; Edward Fritsch, President and CEO, Highwoods Properties, Inc.; Steve Wechsler, NAREIT's President and CEO; and NAREIT’s Second Vice Chair Ronald L. Havner, Jr., President and CEO, Public Storage.


Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Whip (fourth from left), stands with (left to right) Daniel Wagner, Vice President, Government Relations, Inland Real Estate Corporation; Jay Leupp , Managing Director, Lazard Asset Management LLC; NAREIT’s Second Vice Chair, Ronald L. Havner, Jr., President and CEO, Public Storage; Andrew Jacobs, Chair, NAREIT's Mortgage REIT Council and President and CEO, Capstead Mortgage Corporation; Bruce Schanzer, President and CEO, Cedar Realty Trust, Inc.; and Philip L. Hawkins,President and CEO, DCT Industrial Trust Inc.


Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) (second from left), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, met with (left to right) David B. Henry, President and CEO, Kimco Realty Corporation; Thomas A. Rosenbloom, Executive Vice President of Business Development, CYS Investments, Inc.; and Steve Wechsler, NAREIT's President and CEO.


Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, (third from left) met with (left to right) Tyler Morse, CEO and Managing Partner, MCR Development; Michael P. Glimcher, Chairman and CEO, Glimcher Realty Trust; and Daniel B. Hurwitz, President and CEO, DDR Corp.


Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) (third from left), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, met with (left to right) Jeremy Diamond, Managing Director, Annaly Capital Management, Inc.; NAREIT’s Second Vice Chair Ronald L. Havner, Jr., President and CEO, Public Storage; Steve Wechsler, NAREIT's President and CEO; Thomas A. Rosenbloom, Executive Vice President of Business Development, CYS Investments, Inc.; Samuel Zell, Chairman, Equity Group Investments; and NAREIT’s Treasurer Michael D. Fascitelli, III, President and CEO, Vornado Realty Trust.


Rep. Richie Neal (D-MA) (third from left), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is pictured with (left to right) Thomas A. Rosenbloom, Executive Vice President of Business Development, CYS Investments, Inc.; Mark Zalatoris, President and CEO, Inland Real Estate Corporation; Donna Wagner, Senior Vice President, Liberty Property Trust; Bruce Schanzer, President and CEO, Cedar Realty Trust, Inc.; Thomas P. Heneghan, CEO, Equity Lifestyle Properties; and Donald Miller, President and CEO, Piedmont Office Realty Trust.


Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) (third from the left), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, met with (from left to right) Daniel B. Hurwitz, President and CEO, DDR Corp.; Michael P. Glimcher, Chairman and CEO, Glimcher Realty Trust; and NAREIT’s Second Vice Chair Ronald L. Havner, Jr., President and CEO, Public Storage.


Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (center), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, stands with (left to right) Charles Fitzgerald, Founder and Senior Managing Director, V3 Capital Management, L.P.; Daniel B. Hurwitz, President and CEO, DDR Corp.; Philip L. Hawkins, President and CEO, DCT Industrial Trust Inc.; and Michael P. Glimcher, Chairman and CEO, Glimcher Realty Trust.



Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) (center), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, stands with (left to right) Craig Macnab, Chairman and CEO, National Retail Properties, Inc.; and Bruce W. Duncan, President and CEO, First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc.

Meetings Held at NAREIT's 2012 Washington Leadership Forum

 


Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY-5)
Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL-24)
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV-1)
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL-13)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3)
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-8)
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI-4)
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA-7)
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-1)
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY-7)
Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-7)
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-19)
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ-5)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA-6)
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT-4)
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD-5)
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-2)
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX-3)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-4)
Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI-12)
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA-3)
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-22)
Rep. Richie Neal (D-MA-2)
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX-19)
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-8)
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN-3)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-8)
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-7)
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA-6)
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL-6)
Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL-12)
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL-18)
Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ-5)
Rep. Peter Stark (D-CA-13)
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA-1)
Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12)
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL)
Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR-3)
House Judiciary Committee Staff (Majority)

 

Contact

For further information, please contact Robert Dibblee at rdibblee@nareit.com or Kirk Freeman at kfreeman@nareit.com.