A group convened on the steps of the South Carolina State House Thursday to express their support of homeownership and their opposition to policy changes that might threaten American homeownership.[IMAGE]
The group Ã¢â‚¬" consisting of Realtors, housing industry professionals, politicians, business leaders, and community leaders Ã¢â‚¬" assembled to encourage elected officials ""to protect homeownership from threats including scaling back or eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, reducing access to affordable mortgages and loans for home buyers and small businesses, and the foreclosure crisis,"" according to an ""announcement"":http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=14452 on the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) website.
The outlook expressed at the rally mirrors widespread sentiment uncovered in a recent ""NAHB survey"":http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=14563 conducted earlier this month.
About three-fourths of American voters said it is ""appropriate and reasonable"" for the federal government to promote homeownership through tax incentives.[COLUMN_BREAK]
This view was shared by Democrats (84 percent), Republicans (71 percent), and Independents (71 percent) alike.
""Those running for office in November need to understand that voters will not look kindly on any candidates who seek to dismantle the nation's long-term commitment to homeownership,"" said Bob Nielson, president of NAHB.
In fact, while 73 percent of voters object to an elimination of the mortgage interest deduction, 68 percent claim they are less likely to vote for a candidate who proposes an elimination of the deduction, according to the NAHB survey. This assertion was consistent across party lines.
The majority of survey respondents also opposed revisions that would limit the reach of the mortgage interest tax deduction, including a reduction in the deduction amount, deduction limits for households earning more than $250,000 per year, exclusion of second homes and home equity loans, and reductions for homeowners with mortgages loans greater than $500,000.
""With the 2012 election season in full swing, candidates running for the White House and Congress would be wise to heed the will of the American voters, who have expressed broad support for government policies that encourage homeownership and oppose efforts to make it more difficult to get a home loan and to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction,"" said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, one of the firms that conducted the survey on behalf of NAHB.
While Americans continue to harbor concern for the mortgage interest tax deduction, another mortgage-related tax deduction recently slipped out of existence.
A mortgage insurance premium tax deduction expired at the start of the year, according to ""Bloomberg Businessweek."":http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-10/backtracking-lawmakers-expand-u-s-government-role-in-mortgages.html