Major Hurdle in Tax Overhaul: The Breaks in Trump’s Own Field

In Conflict of Interest, Taxes On

Many tax experts say a key element to any fundamental overhaul is getting rid of certain deductions for businesses — the “special-interest giveaways that are masked as tax breaks,” as House Republicans describe many of them in their own proposal. That is the only way tax rates for much of the country can go down without starving the Treasury, the experts say.

But there is a major roadblock to that fundamental change, and it comes from a sector well known to the president: the real estate industry.

As the nation’s first real estate developer-president — one who has refused to divest his holdings while occupying the Oval Office and has declined to release his past tax returns — Mr. Trump brings his career perspective to the tax question, as well as a substantial financial stake in the outcome.

His interest will be shared by small builders, brokers and contractors in congressional districts across the country. And as they showed in rolling back previous changes that had taken away advantages, their lobbying prowess is formidable.

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