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Understanding the Real Estate Provisions of Tax Reform: Motivation and Impact


  • James R. Follain
  • Patric H. Hendershott
  • David C. Ling


Capital investment tax provisions have been changed numerous times in the last decade, with depreciation tax lives shortened in 1981 and lengthened ever since and capital gains taxation reduced in 1978 and 1981 and now increased. The first part of this paper analyzes these changes and attributes a large part of them, including the 1986 Tax Act, to changes in inflation: tax depreciation schedules and capital gains taxation that look reasonable when the tax depreciation base is being eroded at ten percent a year and an overwhelming share of capital gains is pure inflation take on a different appearance when inflation is only four percent. The remainder of the paper critiques the typical project model used to compute impacts of tax changes on real estate and report simulation results using a modified model.

Suggested Citation

  • James R. Follain & Patric H. Hendershott & David C. Ling, 1987. "Understanding the Real Estate Provisions of Tax Reform: Motivation and Impact," NBER Working Papers 2289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2289
    Note: PE

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    Cited by:

    1. George H. Lentz & Jeffrey D. Fisher, 1989. "Tax Reform and Organizational Forms for Holding Investment Real Estate: Corporation vs. Partnership," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 17(3), pages 314-337, September.
    2. John V. Duca & Patric H. Hendershott & David C. Ling, 2017. "How Taxes and Required Returns Drove Commercial Real Estate Valuations over the Past Four Decades," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 70(3), pages 549-584, September.
    3. Poterba, James M, 1992. "Taxation and Housing: Old Questions, New Answers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 237-242, May.
    4. Haurin, Donald R. & Chung, Eui-Chul, 1998. "The Demand for Owner-Occupied Housing: Implications from Intertemporal Analysis," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 49-68, March.

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