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House Passage of Flood Bill Critical Step Toward Re-authorization, Reform

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WASHINGTON (November 14, 2017) – With less than a month left before the National Flood Insurance Program expires, the National Association of Realtors® is applauding the House of Representatives for passing what NAR believes is smart, much-needed support for the program.

"Realtors® know first-hand what happens when the NFIP expires, and it isn’t good for consumers, businesses or our communities," said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri, and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. "We appreciate the leadership that members of Congress have shown passing sound reforms, which will strengthen the program, protect property owners and deliver good results for taxpayers."

The NFIP is responsible for providing the vast majority of flood insurance policies in over 20,000 communities nationwide. Without it, most consumers would be unable to purchase the flood insurance that’s required on mortgages in a floodplain. In the past, NAR has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month when the program is unavailable.

H.R. 2874, the "21st Century Flood Reform Act," reauthorizes the NFIP for five years, while taking steps to reform the program. These reforms include:

Authorizing $1 billion to elevate, buy out or mitigate high-risk properties
Capping flood insurance premiums at $10,000 per year for homeowners
Removing hurdles to the private flood insurance market, which often offers better coverage at lower cost than the NFIP.
Providing for community flood maps and a homeowner’s ability to appeal their flood designation
Better aligning NFIP rates to match a property’s true risk, particularly for in-land and lower-value properties
Improving the claims process for flood victims
Addressing repeatedly flooded properties, which account for 2 percent of NFIP policies but 25 percent of claim payments
These changes, Mendenhall said, would improve the NFIP’s financial health, put consumers on a stronger footing, and deliver certainty to current and prospective homeowners.

"The conversation happening in Washington on this issue is fundamentally about how we deliver the best results for consumers and taxpayers, and that’s a good conversation to have," Mendenhall said. "Realtors® are simply asking that Congress swiftly deliver on the promise of this program so buyers can move forward without interruption and homeowners know their most important asset is protected. With December 8 around the corner, we’re hopeful the Senate will now step up to the plate and do their part by passing a flood reform and reauthorization package without delay."

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

 

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 NAR is OPPOSED to the tax reform legislation unveiled in the House last week. This bill is a direct threat to consumers, to homeowners and to our businesses. Not only will millions of homeowners not benefit from the proposal, many will get a tax increase. Additionally, homeowners could lose substantial equity from the more than 10% drop in home values likely to result if the bill is enacted.

What the Legislation Would Do:

Caps the mortgage interest deduction at $500K for new mortgages

Cap applies to new mortgage debt (but not refinancing) incurred after November 2, 2017.

Limit is not indexed to inflation causing its value to even further diminish over time.

Increases the standard deduction

Puts homeownership tax incentives beyond the reach of more than 90% of American families.

Limits the exemption on Capital Gains Tax from the sale of a primary residence

New rules would require homeowners to live in their home for 5 of 8 years before a sale to qualify for the exemption, versus just 2 of previous 5 years today. This will create a hardship to homeowners who have to move inside that five-year window.

Exemption phases out for single filers with incomes over $250K ($500K for joint returns).

Eliminates the deduction for state and local income or sales taxes.

Eliminates the Mortgage Interest Deduction for second homes.

Eliminates the deduction for moving expenses.

Eliminates the deduction on interest on student loans.

Eliminates the deduction for medical expenses, even for the elderly.

All this from a bill that is supposed to improve the current system. Not only is this legislation a clear and present danger to American homeownership, it will cost our children and grandchildren $1.5 trillion in new federal debt.

Millions of middle-class homeowners would see a tax hike under this plan.
This plan attacks homeownership and sticks future generations with a $1.5 trillion price tag.
America's homeowners should not pay for corporate tax cuts.
Hard-working homeowners will lose money when their home values fall, while corporations will get a huge tax break.
Homeowners in all 50 states would be double-taxed on the money they pay for state/local taxes.
If you buy a home and then have to move within 5 years, you could be hit with a big tax bill under this plan.

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NAR Conference Live is Back for 2017

Visit NAR Conference Live, which is online now at www.ConferenceLive.realtor. Check out the online window to the REALTORS® Conference & Expo which takes viewers behind-the-scenes of real estate’s largest event happening this weekend in Chicago. Members at home can watch interviews with conference speakers and view exhibitor demonstrations. Plus, they can follow along with the experiences of over 35 Featured Attendees – REALTORS® and board staff from across the U.S. – who will share their personal experiences and reflections during the event. They can even enter to win a free trip to the 2018 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston. After the event, the site will remain up as a resource for real estate professionals through 2018.

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Don’t let congress raise taxes on middle class homeowners

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DONT TAX HOMEOWNERS

 NAR supports tax reform, but Congress needs to first do no harm to tax incentives that encourage home-ownership. It’s important to us that we seek to assure that tax reforms support the goals of homeownership and the freedom to buy, maintain and sell real estate.

 

  • NAR rejects repealing or weakening tax incentives for homeowners, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local property tax deduction. 
  • These incentives are critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities. 
  • We can’t let Congress turn reform into a tax increase for middle-class homeowners. 
  • Homeowners already pay 83% of all federal income taxes. Homeowners should not have to pay more taxes so corporations can pay less.
  • Home-owning families with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 could face average tax hikes of $815 in the year after enactment.
  • Tax reforms under discussion could result in a drop of more than 10% in the value of all homes.

 

The plan is expected to double the standard deduction and eliminate all personal deductions except the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the deduction for Charitable Contributions.  The plan eliminates the deduction for State and Local Taxes. By doubling the standard deduction, the Mortgage Interest Deduction would only be available to the top 5% of taxpayers.  READ MORE

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