Lobbyists help to delay closing of $1 billion tax loophole (Houston Chronicle)

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas features stores from high-end retailers.  Lobbyist added 54 words to a government spending bill that temporarily preserves a loophole allowing hotel, restaurant and gaming industries to put real estate in trusts and avoid taxes. Photo: JIM WILSON, STF / NYTNS

Photo Courtesy of Houston Chronicle

By Eric Lipton and Liz Moyer

WASHINGTON – In the span of a mere 11 days this month, $1 billion in future federal tax payments vanished.

As congressional leaders were hastily braiding together a tax and spending bill of more than 2,000 pages, lobbyists swooped in to add 54 words that temporarily preserved a loophole sought by the hotel, restaurant and gambling industries, along with billionaire Wall Street investors, that allowed them to put real estate in trusts and avoid taxes.

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