Industry News

Realtors go to bat against expected real estate tax reform

Trade group fears widespread economic impact

The National Association of Realtors board of directors voted this week to oppose proposals under consideration by President Bush's advisory Tax Reform Panel that the trade group's leaders say would drive down real estate values and harm the housing market and overall economy. The value of the nation's residential property could decline 15 percent or more if the tax panel's expected recommendation to convert the mortgage interest deduction to a tax credit takes effect, according to preliminary projections by the association's Economic Research Division. The housing sector accounts for about 15 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. Eliminating the tax deduction for second homes, another proposal under consideration, would impact at least 5 percent of the GDP, the association said in an announcement this week. Second homes accounted for 36 percent of all home sales last year. The tax reform panel, which is expected to make its final report to the president today, is cons...