California Realtors Say Republican Tax Plan Would ‘Punish Homeowners’

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A for sale sign in San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

California Realtors on Tuesday implored President Trump and other lawmakers not to approve tax reform that would “punish homeowners” –especially first-time buyers.

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In an open letter printed in newspapers across the state, the California Association of Realtors slammed the Republican tax reform bill in its current form.

“Congress is considering legislation that would punish homeowners, eliminate the financial benefits for homebuyers and leave hundreds of thousands of people across California much worse off than they are today,” wrote Steve White, president of the Realtors association.

“Tax reform shouldn’t hurt Californians, but this proposal does, in a big way. It eliminates important incentives that help first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners by capping the mortgage interest deduction and limiting property tax deductibility as well as capital gains exemptions. From the Oregon border south to San Diego, working Californians take a beating,” White wrote in the letter.

The letter appeared as an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Bakersfield Californian, San Diego Union-Tribune, Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee, Fresno Bee, The Wall Street Journal’s DC edition and Politico’s print edition.

The provisions in the House bill that would adversely impact real estate include lowering the mortgage interest deduction cap from $1 million to $500,000, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on second homes, eliminating state and local income tax deductions, capping property tax deductions at $10,000, and extending the capital gains exclusion qualification period from two years to five years, which would lock up badly needed inventory.

“How could any member of the California Congressional delegation think this plan is good for the Golden State?” White asked in the letter.

The  California Association of Realtors is one of the largest trade organizations in the United States, with more than 190,000 members.

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