Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas, today issued the following statement on the tax plan that will be put forth by Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee:
"Lawmakers missed a golden opportunity to give the American people a tax reform package that would boost middle-class families and promote greater housing opportunity for Americans across the economic spectrum.
"This plan is particularly disappointing, given that the nation's home builders warned that the proposal would severely diminish the effectiveness of the mortgage interest deduction and presented alternative policies that would retain an effective housing tax incentive in the tax code.
NAHB worked closely with leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee to develop a better homeownership tax incentive that will ensure the middle class - not the wealthy - benefits. Last week, it appeared that we had a deal that would establish a meaningful homeownership tax credit that would benefit tens of millions of households. Unfortunately, we were told by the House leadership that the credit will be removed from the bill.
"By sharply reducing the number of taxpayers who would itemize, what's left is a tax bill that essentially eviscerates the mortgage interest deduction and strips the tax code of its most vital homeownership tax benefit. This tax blueprint will harm home values, act as a tax on existing home owners and force many younger, aspiring home buyers out of the market.
"Given that owning a home is the largest asset for most American households, it makes little sense to offer a tax bill that effectively abandons the nation's long-standing commitment to housing.
"This plan will hurt millions of hard-working American families and marginalize homeownership. The American people deserve better."