Tax Reform – Limit of Mortgage Tax Deduction
A committee appointed by President Bush has come up with an alarming recommendation. They want to limit the tax deduction for mortgage interest!
Following his re-election, President Bush set up an aggressive agenda in which he hoped to reform social security and the tax code amongst other things. As with many things in the political world, this sounded easier done than it really was. With social security, political forces have forced the President to pull back from private accounts. With tax reform, a similar political and practical mistake is being made.
The bipartisan tax reform committee appointed by President Bush is making a mess of things. They are proposing the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is clearly a good thing. Unfortunately, they are also proposing a limit on the tax deduction you can take for mortgage interests.
Although the final recommendations are not yet published, leaks have led to the belief the tax reform committee is going to propose the mortgage interest tax deduction be limited to the percentage of any loan that the Federal Housing Administration would write. Put another way, you would only be able to write-off interest on the first $315,000 of a mortgage! On top of this disaster, the committee is proposing to eliminate the deduction for property taxes.
The implementation of the above recommendations would be an economic disaster for the United States. The real estate industry would suffer incredibly and the real estate boom would become a bust. In many parts of the country, a single family home averages well over $315,000. In San Diego, the average cost of a home is in the $600,000 range. To get into such homes, many families apply for interest only loans to make ends meet. If they lose half of the interest deduction, default will not be far behind.
Once again, we are faced with a situation where politicians just don’t get it. Our housing market is incredibly strong and they want to throw a wrench in the process. Developers and homeowner associations have vowed to fight this “tax reform”. You should as well if losing half of your deduction troubles you.