As first-time home buyers in Massachusetts race against the clock to take advantage of the current $8,000 tax incentive, some of our Senators are racing to get the bill renewed.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been working on the bill and he says he expects Congress to extend it into the new year.
The tax credit, which was approved as part of the federal stimulus package, is currently set to expire on December 1.
So far, the program has encouraged around 2.5 million first-time home buyers to make their move toward the purchase a home. And, according to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales are likely to rise 7.0 percent to 5.51 million in 2009 from an expected total of 5.15 million this year.
The National Association of Home Builders has estimated that the tax credit will stimulate 160,000 home sales throughout the rest of the year.
Meanwhile, Realtors have been working hard to convince the government to keep the policy in place for as long as possible. Jerry Giovaniello, a lobbyist for NAR, spoke at the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors last month and said that they were trying to garner support for an extension of the credit into 2010 and to increase the amount to $15,000. They also want to make it available to all sectors of the public, not only first-time buyers.
Senator Johnny Isakson, who successfully proposed the original $15,000 tax credit bill in February, has teamed up with Chris Dodd to try to breathe new life into the idea.
Since there seems to be bi-partisan support for at least the extension of the current program, the chances are good that it will stay around until next year.
Copyright 2009 - Claudette Millette, President,TheBuyersCounsel - 800-392-1446, E-mail
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