The National Association of Realtors Objects

The NAR is objecting to the current tax reform plan’s essential doubling of the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and to $24,000 for married couples.

The Realtors are upset because they say this middle-class tax cut would make fewer taxpayers use the mortgage-interest deduction. The National Association of Realtors trashed the framework in a statement, saying it “would all but nullify the incentive to purchase a home for most, amounting to a de facto tax increase” and ensure “that only the top 5% of Americans have the opportunity to benefit from the mortgage interest deduction.”

This is beyond disingenuous; it’s dishonest.

Doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 leaves an extra $12,000 in that family’s take-home income. That means that that family can accumulate a 20% down payment on a $240,000 home (in well-off Plano, TX, real estate market, that works out to a roughly 2,300-2,600 sq ft, 4-bedroom home) in just four years, instead of forever. That’s a strong incentive to buy a home—and these folks, shorn of the mortgage interest deduction as the NAR bleats, are not in those 5%.  They wouldn’t need the “benefit from the mortgage interest deduction.”

Oh, wait—that family might choose to replace their beater with a new, or a newer used, car that would be cheaper to run instead of buying a house. The family could pay cash for that car, rather than borrow for it, in just two years.

NAR knows all of this.

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