Mortgage deduction benefits USA: Editorial from NAR President in USA Today
The current tax code encourages behaviors and actions that we, as Americans, believe are good for individuals, communities and the nation. We incentivize retirement savings, child rearing and, yes, homeownership.
Some say there's no evidence the mortgage interest deduction (MID) has an effect on homeownership rates; to those people I say, "Just look around you."
For example, the MID has a huge impact for a hardworking family in Topeka who just saved several thousand dollars on their taxes — money they can use to save for their children's education or to pay down other debts.
Or consider the young couple in California trying to gain a financial foothold as they buy their first home — the deduction certainly makes a big difference for younger Americans who aspire to own a home so they can begin building a financial future.
There's no doubt that our nation is facing big economic challenges, but encouraging homeownership is part of the solution, not one of the problems. Home sales in this country generate more than 2.5 million private-sector jobs in an average year, and housing accounts for more than 15% of the country's GDP. Numerous studies have also demonstrated the social benefits of homeownership, including improved educational opportunities, reduced crime and increased community engagement. Homeowners already pay 80% to 90% of federal income tax, and this share could rise to 95% if the MID were eliminated.
Government policies reflect the values of its citizens. Realtors believe in the value of homeownership, as do the nation's 75 million homeowners. In fact, Realtors from across the country will rally on Capitol Hill on May 17 to express just how much homeownership matters in this country.
If we continue to worship at the altar of tax rates, we ignore what's really important — protecting the wealth of hardworking Americans. As a country, we need to make some hard decisions about our collective future. In the process, let's not destroy the dream of homeownership for future generations.
Moe Veissi is president of the National Association of Realtors.
Clint Skutchan is has been the Executive for FCBR since 2008. Prior to joining the REALTOR® association he ran a Medical Society and was a local talk show host for nearly 10 years
November 2013 Housing Report
A comprehensive Housing Report from the Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®. Residential Market Statistics for single family detached and attached homes plus Townhome/Condo stats provided by IRES. Please note that IRES no longer includes "to be built" and "under construction listings. For more information please call 223-2900.
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