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President Barack Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission Looks at Homeownership and the Mortgage Interest Deduction

We just had this come across our email, so we thought we’d share:

President Barack Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission Looks at Homeownership and the Mortgage Interest Deduction

The New York Times reported last week that President Barack Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission—a bipartisan commission on reducing the federal debt—is likely to recommend a plan to repeal or modify a number of popular tax breaks, including the deductibility of mortgage interest payments.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) cautions, however, that the plan is only in draft form and will not be released in final form until December 1, at the earliest. It stated emphatically in a press release that the New York Times article, and others that have followed, are only reporting on possibilities, NOT certainties.

To assist REALTORS® who receive inquires from clients regarding reports that the Deficit Reduction Commission will be recommending changes to the current mortgage interest deduction to respond to those inquiries, the National Association has prepared the following talking points:

1. Media reports that suggest that the Deficit Reduction Commission has recommended reducing or eliminating the mortgage interest deduction are FALSE.

2. The Deficit Reduction Commission has not yet released its plan—the commission is scheduled to submit its report on December 1, at the earliest. Any suggestions related to the recommendations at this point are premature and only conjecture.

3. What the media is currently reporting on is an early DRAFT of the report that could change many times before the report is actually released. And 14 of the commission’s 18 members must agree on the recommendations before they can be released.

4. NAR is actively engaged on behalf of REALTORS® and the nation’s home owners to ensure that the current MID is not changed—the tax deductibility of interest paid on mortgages is both a powerful incentive for home ownership and one of the simplest provisions in the tax code.

5. NAR opposes any tax reform plan that does not retain the deductibility of mortgage interest. NAR also opposes any effort to convert the MID from a deduction to a tax credit.

6. Specific government incentives for home ownership in this country have existed for more than 150 years. That’s because home ownership helps foster communities, creates social stability, builds wealth over the long term, and contributes significantly to the U.S. economy.



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