Why do homeowners get a break on their housing costs...and tenants don't
The answer is pretty simple: The Real Estate Industry (homebuilders and realtors) have sold Democrats and Republicans on the notion that homeownership is the American Dream. What they MEAN is that homeownership puts THEIR children through college.
What are some other options?
Reduce or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction
Create a tax exemption for renters (see next column)
for a Renters’ Tax Credit?
It's always been a little
unfair that homeowners get a tax credit on their mortgage interest,
but tenants don't anything. Over the years efforts to repeal the
mortgage interest deduction always meet stiff resistance in Congress.
Here's an alternative solution. Housing Economist Barbara Sard
suggests a Renter's Tax Credit in an article in Rooflines.
It’s time to rethink
the nation’s housing policy. We’ve focused for decades on
policies to increase homeownership, and most federal housing dollars
benefit families with relatively little need for assistance.
Overall, more than half of federal spending on housing benefits
households with incomes above $100,000. Meanwhile, the nation’s
lowest-income renters are far likelier to struggle to pay for
housing—and their affordability problems are growing. Current
rental assistance programs reach only a fraction of families who
qualify for help, but for the foreseeable future Congress is unlikely
to expand these programs enough to meet the need.