http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/03/16/realtors-urge-obama-to-keep-mortgage-interest-deductions


Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - March 16, 2012

Realtors urge Obama to keep mortgage interest deductions

'We urge the president and Congress to do no harm,' says head of national association

by Jeb Bing

The president of the National Association of Realtors said last week that the organization "strongly opposes" elements of President Obama's budget proposal that would limit itemized deductions, including the mortgage interest deduction, for thousands of families.

"As the leading advocate for housing and homeownership, NAR believes that the mortgage interest deduction is vital to the stability of the American housing market and economy," said Maurice (Moe) Veissi, a Realtor from Miami, Fla. "We urge the president and Congress to do no harm."

Veissi said that while progress has been made in bringing stability to the housing market, the recovery has been slow. He added that the nation's homeowners already pay 80% to 90% of U.S. federal income taxes.

"Raising taxes on them, now or in the future, could critically erode home values at all price levels," he said. "This would destroy middle-class wealth accumulation and trillions of dollars in home values nationwide."

"The mortgage interest deduction must not be targeted for change," he added. "Any modifications to the deductibility of mortgage interest will harm housing and homeowners, and until housing markets have stabilized, there cannot be a robust economic recovery. Realtors are actively engaged to ensure that America's 75 million home owners will continue to receive this important benefit."

Veissi continued: "NAR also strongly opposes eliminating capital gains treatment for any carried interest of a real estate investment partnership. The loss of capital gains treatment for income from a carried interest could disrupt the conventional business model and places an unfair tax burden on general partners. Ultimately this would negatively impact commercial real estate investment."

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