Stop the subsidy
To the editor:
Why should renters provide subsidized housing for homeowners with $110 billion per year in the form of mortgage-interest deductions, capital-gains exclusions and property-tax writeoffs?
These tax gimmicks are supported by three powerful special-interest groups: real estate, banking and the home builder/contractor.
Families with yearly incomes of more than $100,000 receive the major share of the subsidized-housing benefits. The main economic effect is to inflate the price and size of homes while diverting investment away from other sectors of the economy.
The home-mortgage interest deduction costs renters and the federal government more than twice as much as is spent on low-income housing assistance and low-rent public housing assistance and low-rent public housing for the elderly and disabled. There are no limits or restrictions on it-the deduction applies to summer homes in Aspen and beach compounds in Key West. It’s worth about $5,000 a year, on average, to individuals making more than $200,000.
There are no facts that support the real estate industry’s contention that these tax gimmicks promote home ownership. Canada has the same rate of home ownership as the United States without the benefit of tax subsidies.
Help stop the renter’s penalty. Abolish all forms of subsidized housing for homeowners.