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Trade group proposes mortgage tax credit

The non-bank trade association, the Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA), proposed a mortgage tax credit on Wednesday that would restore housing incentives that have been minimized or eliminated in the pending Republican tax overhaul.

CHLA, which opposes the GOP bills as written, is floating a 15 percent tax credit, which would be applied to a homeowner’s overall expenses for mortgage interest, charitable deductions, and state and local taxes, including property taxes. The credit would only apply if a person owed money to the IRS, and couldn’t be refunded.  

The House and Senate have both passed bills that would double the standard deduction, a move that will largely negate the mortgage interest deduction by drastically reducing the numbers who itemize on their taxes. The GOP plans also eliminate deductions for most state and local taxes, with the exception of a $10,000 deduction on property taxes.

CHLA says this will wipe out housing incentives for all but about 10 percent of homeowners. The tax credit is designed so filers who take the standard deduction can get a housing credit.

“We think it will simultaneously restore most of the tax incentives for people losing them, and also provide a tax cut for people who are getting a tax increase” CHLA Executive Director Scott Olson told Scotsman Guide News. “We are trying to provide a solution that is targeted, but not overly generous.”

The trade group is proposing to pay for the credit by reducing the GOP’s proposed cut to the corporate tax rate: a 22 percent corporate tax rate, up from the 20 percent proposed rate. 


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