Right now, a dissimilar overture is tuning up in Washington. The cameras aren’t allowed to swoop down into the congressional conference rooms, and Rodgers and Hammerstein are nowhere in sight. Whatever your political views, it’s a possibility that when the first words are sung out, the sound won’t be the sound of music so much as the sound of Bowling Green homeowners howling in dismay. At least that’s what the National Association of Realtors® is trying to prevent.
The current state of affairs are, as is inevitable, shrouded in mystery. That isn’t because of Congressional skullduggery so much as necessity: while you’re putting together tax changes, if you publicize every separate provision before the whole package is formulated, the whole thing won’t ever get to be formulated. But the original starting provisions are on the record.
What the NAR is not objecting to is one provision that Bowling Green homeowners will be happy to hear: nobody is suggesting that the tax deduction for mortgage interest payments be eliminated, or even scaled back. It’s going to be retained in its entirety. As one of the financial pluses that encourages home ownership by making buying and selling more affordable, it’s certain to be part of any tax reform package.
The main proposal that has raised the real estate industry’s ire is one that would eliminate state and local tax deductions. That could include Bowling Green real estate taxes, resulting in what amounts to double taxation. Since U.S. homeowners already pay between 80%-90% of federal income taxes, the NAR is crying “foul.”
They aren’t alone. The New York Times cites a “raft of organizations”—including the National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Conference of State Legislatures—which have united to denounced the measure.
At any rate, it’s going to take a while before the Hill is Alive with the sound of anything that’s nailed down for certain. I’ll keep an ear out, and let you know.