Foreign aid: The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill July 30 ( by a vote of 402-11 ) that encourages foreign investment in U.S. real estate by doubling the amount of foreign dollars that can be invested in publicly traded real estate investment trusts ( REITs ) .
A REIT is a form of corporate investing in real estate that reduces or eliminates business income taxes. In return, REITs are required to distribute 90 percent of their income, which may be taxable, to the investors.
The bill eliminates a surtax that foreign investors must pay; however, foreign investors owning more than 10 percent in one real estate investment must still pay the surtax and register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Starting on the right note: dBusinessNews.com reported that the CMLS ( Council of Multiple Listing Services ) 2010 Conference, taking place in Chicago Sept. 29-Oct. 2, started with a surprise guest performer: real-estate broker Jim Cornelison. Most Chicagoans might know Cornelison, who works at Prudential Rubloff Properties, by his other profession. He is also a professional opera singer who sings the Star-Spangled Banner at the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks' home games at the United Center.