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Realtors join fray against Trump tax proposal advance

Real Estate Report
By Lauren Bunting | Nov 22, 2017

(Nov. 24, 2017) The National Association of Realtors issued a press release last week that brought attention to the House of Representatives passage of H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

The President of NAR, Elizabeth Mendenhall, called this bill an all-out assault on homeownership.

Mendenhall issued the following statement:

“It’s disappointing to see this legislation move forward, but the real work to shape this debate is just getting started. Realtors will now look to the Senate as we make our case that the tax reform proposals pending before Congress overwhelmingly remove the tax incentive to purchase and own a home in America.

“This is about much more than a cap on the mortgage interest deduction. Rather, it is about whether homeowners will have the rug pulled out from under them with a tax system that suddenly favors renting over owning in a big way.

“Make no mistake, middle-class homeowners will see their home values fall if this proposal moves forward, while large corporations walk away with the bulk of the tax cuts.

“American homeowners shouldn’t have to pay for corporate tax cuts with their home equity. It’s a matter of basic fairness; 1.3 million Realtors have known since the beginning, and America’s 75 million homeowners are just beginning to learn, that homeowners will be the ones paying the tab. Realtors will do our part to spread the word as we work with the Senate to address this impending assault on homeownership.”

The House of Representatives passed this bill with a vote of 227 for and 205 against, and the bill will now move onto the Senate for consideration. Here are a few of the items included in this tax reform bill:

• Preserves the mortgage interest deduction with new levels, including interest on up to $500,000 in mortgage principal on new homes, and grandfathers existing mortgages.

• Preserves deductions for charitable contributions.

• Repeals deductions for tax preparation expenses, medical expenses, alimony payments, student loan interest, and moving expenses (but preserves the exclusion for moving expense reimbursement for a member of the Armed Forces).

— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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