Use earmark money for homebuyer tax credit?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Property Centre

WASHINGTON – Nov. 23, 2010 – Money saved by eliminating congressional earmarks should be redirected to re-establish the Homebuyers Tax Credit for another boost in home sales, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said Monday.

The program last spring provided an $8,000 tax credit for qualified first-time homebuyers and a $6,500 credit for repeat homebuyers. A lackluster housing market is generally blamed for much of Florida’s economic malaise, with the critical construction industry hobbled by the downturn in the market.

The tax credit was widely credited with the six percent jump in home sales – and the 42 percent increase in new home sales – that the country saw while it was in effect. The tax credit expired earlier this year, but Republicans in Congress are pushing for a ban on earmarks in the budget, which could free up money to restore it, Nelson said in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers.

Restoring the tax credit would mean jobs selling, financing, and building homes and all the things that go in homes, Nelson said, adding that he’ll file legislation to reinstate the credit for 2011.

“But, it will carry a price tag,” Nelson said. “If the Senate’s going to vote to ban so-called earmarks, which you’ve probably heard much about, then I think we should take the money that would otherwise be spent on lawmakers’ projects and use it to pay for the homebuyer tax credit. …If my colleagues in Washington are serious about banning earmarks, instead let’s put the money into the pockets of homebuyers.”

Source: News Service of Florida

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