Seniors Housing Business

OCT-NOV 2017

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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20 www.seniorshousingbusiness.com Seniors Housing Business n October-November 2017 —— I N T E R FAC E SENIORS HOUSING SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE C O V E R A G E —— Healthcare, Tax Reform Legislation Will Impact American Businesses, says Sen. Johnny Isakson ATLANTA — Legislative deci- sions made over the next 18 months will have a substantial effect on American businesses, according to Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). The remarks were made at the InterFace Seniors Housing Southeast conference on Wednes- day, Aug. 23. The event drew over 400 industry professionals. "If you're in business in Amer- ica, what happens in Washington has a lot to do with your busi- ness," he says. "You're going to begin to see pressure on elected officials to move out of partisan voting, and I think that's good for the economy." Before entering politics, Isakson worked in real estate for more than 40 years and has a long family history in the industry. His father helped establish the prominent real estate firm Northside Realty, which Isakson led as president for 22 years. Johnny's brother, Andy Isakson, founded Isakson Living, a seniors housing d e v e l o p m e n t company, based on the family's own difficulty finding retire- ment options for their parents (see SHB Interview, page 40). According to Isakson, health- care and tax reform top the list of issues to be addressed by Congress over the next year and a half. "Healthcare is 19 percent of the economy. You can't just repeal healthcare without replacing it." This issue is especially impor- tant for the seniors housing busi- ness, an industry that is so closely intertwined with healthcare. "Our country's economy is tied to healthcare and we have to get it fixed because right now it is in a death spiral," says Isakson. "We have to put in practical experience — practical things that worked in the past — to make it work and make it more viable than it is today." Isakson noted another issue that will affect businesses is the way the U.S. tax system oper- ates. Currently, the country has a worldwide tax system, meaning a corporation headquartered in the United States must pay the corpo- rate income tax (35 percent) on all its income, regardless of whether it is earned in the U.S. or overseas, leaving an American business with less after-tax income than its for- eign competitors. "We need to switch from the way we are today to a territorial tax system," says Isakson. "Most countries have it, and the United States does not." Under a territorial tax system, the government would only tax the U.S. income of a corporation, exempting most or all foreign income and matching the system of countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Spain. "If Congress doesn't act, you're going to see major corporations moving their headquarters from the United States to other coun- tries," says Isakson. "The territo- rial tax is the way to expand our country, improve the vitality of our country and be competitive on a tax basis with the rest of the world. That will make a difference for the U.S. and each one of our businesses." While these decisions could mean big changes for American corporations, Isakson emphasizes that the seniors housing industry is and will remain strong. "It's the business to be in right now," he says. "I'm two years ahead of the Baby Boomers, so I'm leading the way. I bought my seniors housing unit and there are a lot more of us coming." — Camren Skelton Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

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