By Robert Freedman, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
President Obama’s deficit reduction commission flamed out, right? It needed to get 14 of its 18 members on board for the commission’s final report to go to Congress for an automatic vote on its recommendations, which include curbing the mortgage interest deduction. But the commission only received 11 votes, so we’re back to square one, right?
Actually, we’re not back to square one. Although the report doesn’t automatically go to Congress for a vote, the individual recommendations in the report are alive and well and could yet be voted on by Congress. That’s because there’s nothing stopping President Obama from taking the pieces of the report that he likes and including them in the proposed budget he sends to Congress in January.
Will changes to MID be part of the mix? They could be. The President took a swing at MID last year, when he proposed some curbs for the wealthiest households. Those curbs failed, but the effort shows that the President isn’t hesitant about taking on MID.
So, the deficit commission report in its own way is alive and well. It’s just that the script Congress will follow for dealing with it isn’t known upfront but will be written as the budget debate unfolds next year.
To get a sense of what that unfolding will look like, NAR Vice President Pamela Geurds Kabati sat down with NAR Tax Director Linda Goold and NAR Deputy Chief Lobbyist Jamie Gregory for an 8-minute video interview. Their conclusion on how things will unfold: You can count on REALTORS® having to step in multiple times to help shape the debate on MID as well as capital gains and other tax issues before the process is over.
As it is, NAR has a Call for Action in place right now. If you haven’t contacted your member of Congress or senator about your concerns over changes to MID and the other federal programs that support home ownership, you can do so easily at the REALTOR® Action Center.