Industry News

Panel revises real estate loan interest tax writeoff

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Responding to sharp criticism of its initial proposal to slash the tax deduction for home-mortgage interest, President Bush's tax-restructuring panel offered a revised and final plan Tuesday to increase its proposed cap on the write-off by 25 percent, media accounts said. But the new level -- ranging from $227,147 to $411,704 depending on a region's housing prices -- still would be far below the average mortgage in high-price markets such as the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Washington, D.C., and South Florida, accounts said. Homeowners now can write off interest on up to $1.1 million in mortgage debt. The tax panel's mortgage-interest recommendation is viewed as a long shot to become law. Even boosting the proposed cap by 25 percent didn't stop the panel's plan from being criticized by officials ranging from California's state treasurer to leading Democrats in the House of Representatives from San Francisco, Maryland and Illinois. The panel's report notes that fewer ...