In all likelihood, the panel will take six months to report its findings, and this will be followed by several months of congressional hearings, with a viable legislative proposal to follow some time in 2006.
Meanwhile, on the issue of the mortgage interest deduction, President Bush provided a significant measure of assurance in his Oct. 2 address to the NAHB Board of Directors in Columbus, OH, during the final weeks of the presidential campaign.
The President said: “I believe that the mortgage interest deduction enables more Americans to achieve the goal of homeownership. It is an important part of our tax code.”
To further put this matter in perspective, in previous Administrations and congressional sessions, the topic of tax reform has been a prevalent issue. But due to the complexities of the tax code and the myriad competing business and consumer interests, little changes other than minor modifications around the edges have occurred.
The few major changes that have been enacted took several years to put in place.
For example, proposals for the Tax Reform Act of 1986 first began circulating in 1981.
Just as in 2003, when NAHB worked with the Administration to implement a major tax cut package that allayed concerns over the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, NAHB stands ready once again to bring its expertise and political clout to the table to represent the interests of the housing community.
As this process moves forward in the new Congress, NAHB will work to protect current tax incentives that will spur homeownership and rental housing initiatives.