The Fiscal Cliff. Unless you’ve been living on another planet sans internet, newspaper, or even one other living being, I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase. What is it exactly? The “fiscal cliff” is the popular shorthand term used to describe the conundrum that the U.S. government will face at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect.
Among the laws set to change at midnight on December 31, 2012, are the end of last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts (resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers), the end of certain tax breaks for businesses, shifts in the alternative minimum tax, the end of the tax cuts from 2001-2003, and the beginning of taxes related to President Obama’s health care law. At the same time, the spending cuts agreed upon as part of the debt ceiling deal of 2011 will begin to go into effect.
As a member of the National Association of REALTORS, I’m particularly concerned about reports that a change to the long-standing policy that allows homeowners to deduct mortgage interest payments from their income taxes could be part of a “Fiscal Cliff” deal. Currently, the law allows homeowners to deduct interest paid on mortgage balances up to $1 million, including second homes, as well as on $100,000 worth of home-equity loans. You can read even more about the details of some proposed changes to the Mortgage Interest Deduction in my previous post, found here.
The NAR’s position is that the mortgage interest deduction is vital to the stability of the American housing market and economy and we will remain vigilant in opposing any future plan that modifies or excludes the deductibility of mortgage interest.
Below is a copy of an e-mail I sent to my Senators and Members of Congress:
Message Subject: Do No Harm to Housing
Dear Tennessee Senators and Representatives,
I am writing to you, as a constituent and as a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, concerning an issue of critical importance to the United States housing market and the economy.
As my elected official, it is imperative you remain vigilant in opposing any plan that modifies or excludes the deductibility of mortgage interest. The mortgage interest deduction is vital to the stability of the American housing market and economy.
I am sending this message to ask you to stand with 70 million American homeowners. I will be watching to see who stands with us.
Lisa Culp Taylor
I urge you to join me as a homeowner and make your voice heard. You can find e-mail links to our Tennessee Senators and Representatives here.