Protect Oregon’s Real Estate Market and Economy

Representative Sal Esquivel, Medford Mail Tribune

In their quest to generate new state funding, the House Committee on Revenue is pursuing numerous proposals that would undermine the recovery of Oregon’s real estate market. The latest proposal attacking the real estate industry and our economy, House Bill 3433, would eliminate the tax benefits of like-kind (1031) exchanges.

Currently, a ‘like-kind’ exchange allows investors to defer recognition of capital gains under tax laws that were first enacted by Congress in 1918 if the funds are invested again in real estate. This exchange is integral to the health of Oregon’s real estate market and is one of the most fundamental components of real estate investment nationally.

Real estate investment is critical to our economy, and in 2010 contributed close to $2.9 billion (16.6% of the Gross State Product) in economic activity to strengthen our economy, communities and neighborhoods. Eliminating the tax benefits of like-kind exchanges will increase the tax burden on struggling Oregonians and take our real estate market backwards, causing further harm to a real estate market that is just beginning to recover.

That’s something Oregon simply can’t afford as we start to climb out of one of the most challenging recessions in history that significantly impacted housing values and the dream of homeownership.

Sal Esquivel is the State Representative for House District 6 in the Oregon Legislature and is in his fifth term representing Southern Oregon in our state’s Capitol.