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Obama targets homeowner tax breaks

Wealthiest families could pay more in 2011

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Industry groups representing Realtors, home builders and mortgage lenders are up in arms over the Obama administration's proposal to roll back the itemized deduction rate for wealthy taxpayers -- including deductions homeowners can claim on mortgage-interest payments and other expenses associated with homeownership. The rollback of the tax break wouldn't take effect until 2011, and would apply only to families earning more than $250,000 and individuals making $200,000 or more -- less than 4 percent of taxpayers in 2006. The Obama administration, which floated the idea in releasing its proposed budget Thursday, says capping the itemized deduction rate for wealthy families and individuals at 28 percent would raise $318 billion over 10 years, expanding health insurance coverage while lowering health care costs. But real estate industry groups say the change would hurt home sales and prices at a time when homebuyers need incentives, not disincentives, to buy. Any changes to t...