June 18,2008

Baucus-Grassley Tax Measures In Housing Bill Provide Incentives To Homeowners, Homebuyers

Bipartisan Finance tax package seeks to shore up economy with property tax deduction for all Americans, increased financing for struggling families in economic downturn

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking
Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today intend to offer Finance tax measures as part of a larger
amendment to a housing bill, H.R. 3221, in cooperation with the Senate Banking Committee and
including important tax credits and incentives for property owners and first-time homebuyers.
The Baucus-Grassley tax measures, which total approximately $14 billion over 10 years, would
create an additional standard deduction for property taxes for homeowners who do not itemize
their federal taxes, provide an $8,000 refundable, repayable tax credit that will help first time
home buyers to purchase homes and reduce the existing stock of unoccupied housing, and
increase funding for mortgage revenue bonds, which will help homeowners and buyers obtain
affordable loans. Also included is a provision to increase the amount of Federal low-income
housing tax credits (LIHTC).

“These tax provisions represent creative, timely, and bipartisan solutions for the millions of
Americans hit hard by this economic downturn. In April when I introduced and helped move these measures through the Senate, I said there is no magic fix to this crisis. We need to roll up our sleeves and work together to get this done,”
Baucus said. “These are practical measures to help refinance subprime loans, reduce the number of vacant homes on the market and help millions of Americans put roofs over their heads. I’m proud to say that we worked across the aisle and across the Capitol to craft this bill, and I hope that my colleagues will come together again to vote yes and do what’s right for our economy and for millions of American families.”

 “These tax initiatives are designed to complement the provisions in the housing bill to help Americans who are losing their homes in foreclosures,” Grassley said. “The tax provisions work to bring stability to the housing marketplace for every homeowner by reducing the number of homes that are for sale and unoccupied. This package would help increase the availability of affordable rental housing for lower-income Americans and encourage first time home purchases. The legislation also would provide immediately available tax-related assistance for taxpayers who’ve lost homes in natural disasters, including the floods and tornadoes in Iowa during the last month.”

Key provisions designed to offset costs of this important tax relief include a proposal to require
banks to provide information returns to the IRS and to merchants reporting their annual credit
card sales, a provision that would require a homeowner to pay taxes on gains made from the sale of a second home to reflect the portion of time the home was used as a vacation or rental
property, and enhancements to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) penalties on companies and
individuals that fail to correctly report or neglect to timely file certain tax documents required by
the IRS.

This legislation reflects the Senate priorities in the housing tax package passed earlier this year.
Senators Baucus and Grassley intend to work with colleagues to move it through the Senate
again.  A complete staff summary of the tax provisions can be found in the printer-friendly
version of this release.

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