David Kirkpatrick

October 14, 2009

Is the homebuyer tax credit about to get massive expansion?

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:41 pm

Expansion to the tune of almost doubling the credit to $15,000 and allowing people other than first-time home buyers into the program. Now that’s some Main Street stimulus, but like “Cash for Clunkers” it’s geared to help one group of industries. Home building and finance in the latest case, automotive in the first case.

From the link:

Congress is considering proposals to greatly expand a soon-to-expire $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers — potentially applying it to all but the wealthiest homebuyers.

Supporters say doing so would further boost home sales, stabilize housing prices and generate jobs. Opponents say extending and expanding the credit would be a waste of money and only temporarily stave off further price declines.

The credit now can be claimed by anyone buying a home who has not owned one for three years and who closes the deal by Nov. 30.

Beyond extending that deadline, some lawmakers want to make the credit available to all homebuyers who meet income eligibility requirements. And some want to increase the amount of the credit from $8,000 to $15,000.

Currently the first-time home buyer credit is available in full to those buying their primary residence who make $75,000 or less ($150,000 for joint filers). A partial credit is available to those making between $75,000 and $95,000 ($150,000 to $170,000 for joint filers).