Tax writers mull ways to encourage foreign investment in U.S. real estate

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) is reviewing a proposal that would remove hurdles for foreign investors to invest in U.S real estate. He said he is waiting for a score from the Congressional Budget Office on it.

Well-placed sources say the proposal could help reverse the current downturn that is plaguing the commercial real estate market.

Levin has not discussed whether the proposal would create a political dilemma for lawmakers by allowing foreign investors easier access to U.S. properties. In the past, the purchase of high-profile buildings in New York by Japanese investors created a huge stir that prompted Congress to create the hurdles that exist today.