Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Please tell me this mortgage interest deduction idea is DOA. Please.

I know my blog is about commercial estate, but I keep hearing about proposed legislation that, if passed, will bring depression to the entire real estate market as a whole.

I keep reading about a proposed bill being touted by Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is proposing legislation that would phase out the cherished (and previously considered untouchable) home interest deduction on anyone who owns a home with more than 3,000 sf. The ostensible goal of this tax is to promote the environment by building smaller and more efficient homes.

Talk about a penalty on not just the rich but also on people who choose to move to the boonies for more home or for large or extended families living together. What a disastrously bad idea. Home sales and prices would plummet. Builders? Out of business, not to mention construction workers. I cannot think of an idea this bad since the Smoot-Hawley Act.

Now, ordinarily I would say this is the agenda of just some kooky crackpot with an eco-agenda. But in this case, we are talking about one of the most powerful senior guys on Capitol Hill. This guy could just get this done, at least in the House. But I still hope this bill is DOA.

In the interest of full disclosure: the main floor of my house is larger than 3,000 sf. But it is no mansion or even McMansion -- I'll leave that to my neighbors. But I should add that a portion of my house is dedicated to a home office from which I work most of the time. Under this theory, I should lop off some square footage in my house and start commuting to Chicago every day in my big honking SUV. Or maybe I should buy a bungalow in the city which, while one-third the size of my house, is less energy efficient. (Case in point: My utility bills are lower than those of my grandparents.) That would be sooo much better fr the environment now, wouldn't it? Sheesh.

All right -- I'm getting off my bully pulpit now. Thanks for reading.


Celia said...
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