Archive for NAHB

NAHB’s Effort on Preserving the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Posted in Housing News with tags , , on December 3, 2010 by Kevin Fox

As you have heard, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has released its final report recommending a number of significant changes to federal spending, entitlements and the tax code.  This report will serve as a starting point for congressional discussions on tax reform next year, and therefore, the recommendations it contains should be taken very seriously.

The overall proposal would eliminate nearly every tax break, with the revenue from this being used to lower marginal tax rates and reduce the deficit.  However, the plan does recommend retaining a few targeted provisions to promote jobs, homeownership, health care, charity, and savings.

While the lower marginal tax rates may look appealing, the devil is in the details.  The proposal shows that taxes would increase across the board for all Americans at all income levels; in fact, the highest percentage increase would fall on those in the lower-income range.

The plan would convert the mortgage interest deduction into a 12% non-refundable tax credit available to all taxpayers, not just those who itemize. The current $1 million mortgage cap would be lowered to $500,000.  No deduction/credit would be permitted for second homes, home equity or state and local taxes.  Further, the capital gains exclusion on the first $500,000 of gain on a home sale, as well as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, would be eliminated.

New Website a Key Resource to Engage Consumers and Media

NAHB has launched a new website at SaveMyMortgageInterestDeduction that provides NAHB members and consumers with up-to-date information on the threat to the mortgage deduction and engages the public in defense of this cornerstone of American housing policy. The site debunks the myths about the deduction and contains fact sheets, frequently asked questions, press releases, media stories, statistics, reports, and more. Most importantly, SaveMyMortgageInterestDeduction tells visitors how to stay informed and make sure their opinions are heard on this crucial issue by connecting to NAHB’s Facebook and  Twitter social networking communities and our Eye on Housing Blog.

I strongly encourage you, your family, friends and business associates to visit the website, join in the discussion on Facebook.com/SaveMyMID and Twitter.com/SaveMyMID, and spread the word about what this proposal would mean to consumers, communities, and the overall housing industry.

Going Forward

We anticipate that debate on this issue will begin in earnest when the new Congress convenes in January, and at that time we will be reaching out to you, our members, for your help in our grassroots efforts to defend the mortgage interest deduction and respond to the other housing-related proposals in this report.

Of course, the impact of the proposals in the commission’s report extends far beyond the mortgage interest deduction and the consumer per se. Everyone in our industry – remodelers, multifamily builders, large builders, small builders, green builders, our associates, and everyone in between – has a tremendous stake in what Congress decides going forward. While the focus of our new website is on the mortgage interest deduction (a topic that clearly resonates with consumers), rest assured that the thrust of our advocacy agenda in Congress will, and does, encompass the preservation of all of the key housing incentives in our nation’s tax code.

A Final Note

I realize that other coalitions and organizations have contacted you regarding their websites and advocacy efforts related to the mortgage interest deduction. You should know that, since this issue first appeared in the news, NAHB has been highly engaged on Capitol Hill and in the media, and has proactively developed cutting edge research and polling data to ensure that all of our members’ interests are fully represented as the debate unfolds.

Once again, we find our industry in a fight that will require every member of the NAHB federation to unite with a common voice and common purpose.  I know I can count on you to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your fellow NAHB members to stop this attack on the American Dream.

Should you have questions regarding the commission’s report or the above communication, please feel free to send them to publicaffairs@nahb.org and our staff will respond as quickly as possible.
 
Thank you,
Bob Jones
2010 NAHB Chairman of the Board

Mortgage Interest Deduction Under Attack

Posted in Housing News with tags , on December 1, 2010 by Kevin Fox

American voters have a clear message for Congress:  “Don’t touch my mortgage interest deduction!”  However, a recent draft proposal released by the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR) threatens this deduction that often provides thousands of dollars of tax savings each year to American home owners.

The NCFRR — a bipartisan commission created by President Obama to help address the nation’s budget deficit — recommends either eliminating the mortgage interest deduction altogether or severely limiting it among many other changes. This means many home owners could have a much higher tax debt each year than they are used to, which could have a serious negative impact on their family’s financial situation.

Currently, the mortgage interest deduction allows home owners to reduce their taxable income by the amount of interest paid on their home loan each year.  Home owners can deduct the interest for up to $1 million of mortgage debt and up to $100,000 of home equity loan debt on both primary and secondary homes that aren’t rented out.

A recent nationwide survey of 800 likely voters commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that no matter their political party affiliation or homeownership status, Americans don’t want their mortgage interest deduction to be taken away.

Here are some important results of the survey:

  • Homeownership status: Even people who aren’t able to claim a mortgage interest deduction support it. Eighty-two percent of renters and 72 percent of owners think tax incentives to promote homeownership are reasonable.
  • Political party affiliation: 69 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Independents think it is reasonable for the federal government to provide tax incentives to promote homeownership.
  • Comparison to other tax credits: An overwhelming majority of Americans — 81 percent — feel that the mortgage interest deduction should remain in the tax code. This compares to 82 percent for medical expenses, 76 percent for state/local taxes, and 66 percent for charitable deductions.

Critics of the deduction argue that it favors high-income taxpayers over lower to moderate income earners who need it most.  But according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, 89 percent of taxpayers benefitting from the deduction make less than $200,000 annually.

Research by NAHB economists — using the Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income data — also shows that as a share of household income the biggest beneficiaries are younger households, who typically have large mortgages, small amounts of equity in their homes and growing families.  A copy of the report can be found at Tax Incentives Report

Current home owners rely on the mortgage interest deduction to help offset the costs of homeownership each year and prospective buyers take the deduction into consideration when choosing homeownership over renting.  Any change to the tax code that limits or eliminates the deduction will negatively affect homeownership in America.

Learn more about the threat to the mortgage interest tax deduction and connect with others on Facebook at Save My MID or contact Michael Stoskopf , Executive Officer of the Building Industry Association of S.E. Michigan

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders

Energy-Efficient Tax Credits

Posted in Housing News with tags , , on October 21, 2010 by Kevin Fox

The deadline is looming for home owners looking to save money — and enjoy a significant tax credit — by making energy-efficient improvements to their home.

The stimulus legislation that President Obama signed soon after taking office providing energy-efficiency credits for up to 30 percent or $1,500 of the cost of certain energy upgrades expires at the end of this year. 

According to Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical household spends about $2,000 a year on energy bills.  By incorporating Energy Star appliances and other energy-efficient components into your home, you can save about a third on your energy bill.  The expanded tax credit money available to home owners on top of these savings is icing on the cake!

“Time is running out for home owners to take advantage of these tax benefits. It’s a good idea to act now, before the winter sets in, to make changes in their homes that will not only benefit them immediately, but over the long term as well,” said Eric Borsting, a California home builder and chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) green building subcommittee.

What is included?

Tax credits are available at 30 percent of the cost of the materials, up to $1,500, until Dec. 31, 2010 (for existing homes only) for:

  • High-efficiency windows and doors
  • Insulation
  • Roofs (metal and asphalt)
  • HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning)
  • Water heaters (non-solar)
  • Biomass stoves

Tax credits are also available at 30 percent of the cost of the materials, with no upper limit through 2016 (for existing homes & new construction) for:

  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Solar panels
  • Solar water heaters
  • Small wind energy systems
  • Fuel cells

Details on qualifying improvements are available at http://www.nahb.org/efficiencytaxcredit.

How to Claim the Credits

Home owners can claim the 25C and 25D credits on IRS Form 5695 when they prepare their income tax returns. Be sure to retain records that include:

  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • Identification of the component including make and model
  • Climate zones for which the criteria are satisfied
  • Additional information for storm windows, if applicable
  • Manufacturer’s certification — a signed statement from the manufacturer certifying that the product or component qualifies for the tax credit

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders

Is Homeownership for You?

Posted in Housing News with tags , , on August 18, 2010 by Kevin Fox

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), established in 1942, is a trade organization whose focus is to improve housing in America for the benefit of the construction industry and to better serve the general public. 

To learn more about the NAHB and its mission click on HERE

In its role as an advocate of Homeownership the NAHB has compiled a series of reasons why Consumers should consider buying a home now.  To learn more click on the picture at the left.

Today’s market makes building a new home an excellent strategy.  In spite of the recession and drop in home values nationwide, individual Homeownership continues to be part of the American Dream.  New homes can take advantage of Green Building techniques as well as improvements in building components such as windows with Low-E glass, higher R-value insulation and Energy Star appliances.

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