Currently, the co-chairs of the bipartisan deficit committee have initiated proposals for the 2010 budget. The current budget includes the elimination or reduction of the home mortgage interest deduction. Presently, the goal of the report pertains to improving the countries current fiscal situation over the medium term. Furthermore, it aims to achieve long-term fiscal sustainability.
The original recommendations entailed savings of $208 billion over the next decade. On the other hand, recent revisions made by Democrat Erksine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson propose a zero option plan, which would eliminate tax credits for homeowners and businesses. In their revised draft, they projected cutting the deficit by $3.9 trillion by 2020. In addition, they proposed that by the year 2035 this would reduce the national percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) debt by 40%.
The current proposal indicates how the mortgage interest deduction is a nonessential. It further stipulates how other countries as Australia and Canada do not have it, yet people still buy homes. Furthermore, Simpson and Bowles assert that the mortgage interest deduction is part of tax expenditures considered unfair in draining the treasury. Therefore, they propose the elimination of all tax credits.
In the event that people do not want to accept their recommendations, they proffer a reduction. The aforementioned would include placing a limitation on the current mortgage interest deduction so that it would not exceed more than $500,000. Furthermore, homeowners could no longer apply it to a second home purchase.
Mortgage Interest Deductions Defined
Under Title 26, of U.S.C. § 16 3(c) of the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), homeowners are entitled to the mortgage interest deduction as long as they adhere to specific guidelines. These guidelines specify that a homeowner must itemize deductions. Additionally, the interest deducted may not surpass one million dollars.
Furthermore, the deductions may only involve the acquisition, construction, or comprehensive home improvement. On the other hand, despite a homeowners intended purpose or use, they may use up to $100,000 of their home equity.
Reasons Congress Should Continue Mortgage Interest Deduction
As illustrated above, the benefits of mortgage interest deductions are many. Ultimately, it provides a way for homeowners to reduce their taxable income in accordance with the interest paid on their home loan. Therefore, it serves as a huge benefit for those who own their own home.
Presently, more than ¾ of all homeowners utilize this deduction throughout their home ownership. Generally, most of the people who need it the most are the middle class. Ultimately, the reduction or elimination of the mortgage interest deduction would eliminate one of the largest buying incentives within the national housing policy.
In the end, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) asserts that removing such a deduction will affect the overall stability of the current economy and housing market. In addition, the tax policy director, Ryan Ellis with the Americans for Tax Reforms contends that any changes with the current mortgage interest deduction will lead to tax increases amounting to over one trillion dollars in 10 years.