One of the country’s largest industry associations has expressed its opposition to the Senate Tax Reform Bill, which was released late last week
“NAMB is opposing the Senate Tax Reform bill released (last week). NAMB believes several of these changes will cause an immediate negative impact on consumers wishing to purchase a home. This will affect housing prices and could immediately impact home values,” the National Association of Mortgage Brokers wrote in an open letter. “Two areas of the Senate Tax bill need amending – 1.) The provision excluding state and local taxes (SALT) and 2.) A provision harming companies dealing with mortgage servicing – monthly payments and tax payments.”
Republicans muscled the largest tax overhaul in 30 years through the Senate early Saturday, taking a big step toward giving President Donald Trump his first major legislative triumph after months of false starts and frustration on other fronts.
“Just what the country needs to get growing again,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in an interview after a final burst of negotiation closed in on a nearly $1.5 trillion package that impacts the breadth of American society.
He shrugged off polls finding scant public enthusiasm for the measure, saying the legislation would prove its worth. “Big bills are rarely popular,” he said. “You remember how unpopular ‘Obamacare’ was when it passed?”
Trump on Saturday tweeted his thanks to Senate and House Republicans as they now begin trying to reconcile differences in legislation passed by both chambers, a behind-closed-doors process that is expected to move swiftly. Trump is aiming to sign the tax package into law before Christmas. “Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate,” he tweeted inaccurately. The overhaul is significant but far from the largest.
Presiding over the Senate, Vice-President Mike Pence announced the 51-49 vote to applause from Republicans. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was the only lawmaker to cross party lines, joining the Democrats in opposition. The measure focuses its tax reductions on businesses and higher-earning individuals, gives more modest breaks to others and offers the boldest rewrite of the nation’s tax system since 1986.
For its part, NAMB argues the bill negatively impacts Americans wishing to purchase a home.
“Consumers do not merely purchase a house, they purchase a place they seek to make their community. Doubling of the standard deduction takes away any incentive to purchase a home and make a community connection. Doubling the standard deduction, in lieu of the mortgage interest deduction, dis-incentivizes homeownership,” the association said. “Homeownership is one of the main, if not the principal driver of building wealth for middle class Americans.
“By removing financial incentives to invest in homeownership, these tax reforms may have the perverse effect of increasing the wealth gap between middle class Americans by destroying one of the most universal and reliable avenues for building wealth in America.”
With a file from Associated Press
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