But the bill included no such changes to the industry, and developers are thankful.
“I think Trump, having lived through a couple of real estate cycles, probably is in tune with this more than the average policy maker,” said Martin Schuh, the head of government relations at the CRE Finance Council, a commercial real estate advocacy group. “Him being an active industry participant gives him an insight that most folks don’t have.”
Mr. Trump is no stranger to how taxes can affect his industry. In 1991, he appeared before the House Budget Committee and laced into the tax overhaul ushered in by President Ronald Reagan five years earlier. Mr. Trump, a property developer at the time, said the legislation, which Republicans and the president himself now herald, was responsible for sinking commercial real estate prices and ushering in an economic downturn.
“This tax act was just an absolute catastrophe for the country, for the real estate industry, and I really hope that something can be done,” Mr. Trump said then.
This time Mr. Trump, who has the final signoff on any legislation, and his business empire have little to fear.
Companies can now deduct their interest expenses on commercial loans, but under the House bill, certain industries would face a cap on the amount of interest that could be deducted each year.
But that cap would not apply to commercial real estate.
So-called like-kind transactions allow businesses to defer taxes on deal making if they do not pocket the cash. For instance, if a developer decides to sell a midsize office building to reinvest in a larger one, the proceeds would not be taxed immediately.
While the plan does end the tax deferral for personal property exchanges, commercial real estate developers would keep the benefit.
Carried interest is another big item that property developers were watching closely. Mr. Trump said many times on the campaign trail that he would close the “loophole” that allows hedge fund and private equity managers to have their compensation treated as capital gains and taxed at a rate of 23.8 percent, rather than as income, which is taxed as high as 39.6 percent. Partners at real estate firms receive similar treatment for returns on some of their investments.
Surprisingly, the House plan does not address carried interest and the issue is largely moot because the new tax rate for pass-through businesses — which account for most real estate investment partnerships — would fall to 25 percent.
Commercial real estate lobbyists remain cautious, since the bill could change as it moves through the House and Senate.
The sector’s residential real estate brethren are already feeling the pain of a tax plan that they say could rock the housing market by curbing the appeal of and limiting the mortgage interest deduction.
Like the housing industry, commercial property was also hit hard during the financial crisis as companies laid off workers and needed less office space. While the market has largely rebounded, the Federal Reserve warned this year that property valuations were of “growing concern” and that appetites for commercial real estate lending could start to tighten.
That Mr. Trump’s industry has not been targeted with new taxes could provide fodder for critics of the Republican tax plan who have argued that the president is promoting policies that will enrich him and his family. Democrats have said that Mr. Trump must release his tax returns to provide transparency over potential conflicts of interest that he might have.
“At the very same time that Trump’s plan undercuts the home mortgage tax credit — and a host of others that middle-class Americans rely on — in order to finance a new giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations, he’s including provisions that benefit his very own industry,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for American Bridge, a Democratic political action committee. “This entire administration is set up to help Trump profit.”
Over the years, Mr. Trump has used the special tax benefits that cover the real estate industry to his advantage. A $916 million net operating loss that he incurred in 1995 became useful because it could be carried forward to allow Mr. Trump to avoid paying income tax on future income for the next 20 years. That provision has been limited somewhat in the current version of the House plan.
After the Reagan tax act, property prices declined because of a higher capital-gains tax rate and limits on deductions for some business losses.
Those in the industry now hope that the president has not forgotten.