Foreign Investors Push Tax Exemption as Route to Fund U.S. Highways

Aug. 19 - U.S. lawmakers desperate for revenue to pay for roads and bridges are hearing a novel pitch from the north: cut taxes by billions of dollars.
Canadian pension funds have quietly pressed Congress to spare them a 35 percent tax that applies to foreigners who invest in U.S. real property, promising a flurry of investment in U.S. public works projects in return, according to lobbyists and others familiar with their overtures.
The effort by Canadian funds-including the biggest in the country, the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board-is also reflected at the White House, where the Obama administration has tried to rekindle an idea it floated in 2014 and 2015 budget requests to exempt all foreign pension funds from the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, which the administration said would spur enough investment to outpace a projected $2.2 billion in forgone tax revenue.