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Trump punts on tax question, after slamming hedge fund managers

August 25, 2015, 4:13 PM UTC
Republican Presidential Candidates Address 2015 Family Leadership Summit
Republican presidential hopeful businessman Donald Trump fields questions at The Family Leadership Summit at Stephens Auditorium on July 18, 2015 in Ames, Iowa.
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images

Donald Trump said over the weekend that hedge fund managers are “getting away with murder,” by getting to pay a low tax rate on their cut of investment profits. His comments were referring to how the IRS treats “carried interest” as a capital gain (20% rate) rather than as ordinary income (top bracket is nearly 40%).

But the carried interest loophole affects far more than just hedge fund managers. It also gets used by venture capital fund managers. And private equity fund managers. And most other alternative investment limited partnerships, including ones related to natural resources and real estate.

On that last point, a review of Trump’s financial disclosure forms show that he holds “partner” stakes in at least ten real estate limited partnerships. It is unclear if Trump has earned any carried interest from these positions, but such investment vehicles were almost certainly structured with that sort of upside as a possibility.

So Fortune reached out to Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks to see if the mogul’s position on changing carried interest tax treatment is only for hedge fund managers or for all potential beneficiaries.

Her reply? “No comment at this time.”

For now, Trump is for closing a tax loophole that benefits hedge fund managers. As for everyone else who benefits similarly — which likely includes Trump himself — there is apparently some sort of hesitation.