Looking for ways to reduce the deficit, one panel is recommending limiting, or even killing altogether, the mortgage interest deduction. You can bet the housing industry will fight this tooth and nail!
Don't even think of touching the mortgage interest tax deduction in the midst of a fragile housing market.
That was the immediate response of the housing industry, which has come out with guns blazing against the presidential deficit commission's proposal to overhaul the coveted tax provision.
"We will fight this proposal," said Joe Stanton, chief lobbyist for the National Association of Home Builders. "From everything we've read, it will end up being a tax hike."
Charged with finding ways to reduce the nation's exploding federal debt, the bipartisan debt panel recommended Wednesday a wide range of controversial spending cuts and tax changes that would slash $4 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years.
Among the proposals was a major change to the mortgage interest deduction, which costs the Treasury Department an estimated $131 billion a year.
Currently, taxpayers who itemize their deductions can deduct the interest on mortgages of up to $1 million for their principal and second residences, plus on home equity loans of up to $100,000. The provision generally benefits higher-income Americans since they are more likely to itemize.