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NAR Vows Pushback On Tax Reform
“The bottom line is removing tax incentives means fewer home buyers and lower home values,” Iona Harrison, chair of NAR’s Federal Taxation Committee, said of the House GOP tax plan at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo welcoming ceremony Thursday.
Tax reform was the buzzword of the day as 20,000 attendees descended on Chicago to kick off the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo on Thursday. During NAR 360, the official welcoming ceremony of the conference, leaders of the National Association of REALTORS® promised a strong and swift response to the House GOP tax plan released earlier in the day, which puts homeownership tax incentives in peril. “The proposal being debated is a clear and present danger to our businesses, to homeownership, and to our communities,” Kevin Sears, NAR’s vice president of government affairs, said at the event.
NAR has issued a call to action asking members to warn their congressional representatives about the threats the tax proposal poses to the real estate industry. NAR President-elect Elizabeth Mendenhall said issues such as tax reform lend more urgency to the mission of the REALTOR® Party. In that vein, Mendenhall and newly appointed NAR CEO Bob Goldberg announced that a presidential advisory group tasked with reviewing the successes of the REALTOR® Party recommends expanding its budget. “In many ways, the REALTOR® Party is our lifeline,” Mendenhall said. “With issues like tax reform looming, not only in our nation’s capital but in state capitals across the country, it’s time to up our ante in issue and candidate advocacy.”
Such an increase in power is necessary to hold lawmakers accountable for how their decisions affect real estate, said Iona Harrison, chair of NAR’s Federal Taxation Committee. Harrison, who has testified on behalf of NAR on Capitol Hill regarding tax reform and homeownership, said an analysis by the committee showed that under the GOP tax proposal, homeowner households with $50,000 to $200,000 in annual income would pay $815 more in taxes per year. Coupled with the proposed elimination of other itemized deductions, the tax plan could spur a housing downturn if enacted. “The bottom line is removing tax incentives means fewer home buyers and lower home values,” Harrison said.
“America cannot afford another housing crash,” Sears added.
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