October 3, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

NAHB in the News
Nielsen Continues to Hammer Home the Value of the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Responding to continued attacks on the mortgage interest deduction that appeared in various newspapers, magazines and online outlets during recent weeks, NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen issued sharp rebuttals alerting readers to the value of the mortgage interest deduction.

In addition, NAHB leadership and staff members met with editors and reporters during the past two weeks on the state of housing and its effect on the national economy.

The following are media highlights:

  • NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen responded to David Kittle, of Investors Mortgage Asset Recovery Co., who, in an article in Urban Land online magazine, said he would be willing to trade the mortgage interest deduction for a top tax rate of 25%.

    “This Faustian bargain to achieve lower tax rates for the wealthiest Americans would come at a steep cost to the tens of millions of working class families who rely on this deduction to stay current with their mortgage payments even as they struggle to make ends meet,” Nielsen wrote. “While eliminating the deduction would most certainly cause the economy to tumble back into recession, who’s to say how long Congress would maintain a lower marginal tax rate? After the last major tax reform effort, the top tax rate soared from 28% in 1988 to 39.6% in 1993.”

  • After Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries attacked the mortgage interest deduction in a Forbes article, Nielsen responded with a hard-hitting letter.

    “Getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction would lead to an economic chain reaction that would surely throw the nation back into recession,” Nielsen said. “It would erode housing demand, which would place more downward pressure on home prices, which would put more home owners underwater and trigger a new wave of foreclosures.”

  • NAHB CEO Jerry Howard, Chief Lobbyist Jim Tobin and Chief Economist David Crowe on Sept. 29 met with a Bloomberg reporter to discuss the state of the housing market and various issues impacting the housing industry.

  • In Inside FHA Lending, NAHB tax policy analyst Rob Dietz discussed how the pending reduction of the conforming loan limits will likely lower housing demand and house prices.

    “This reduced demand would have the potential to reduce the price of such homes, whether on the market or not,” Dietz said.

  • NAHB continues to run ongoing ads in the National Journal and Politico to send a message to Washington policymakers about the value of homeownership and the important role that the home building industry plays in generating jobs.

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