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Daily Real Estate News  |  September 23, 2010  |   Voters Say: Don't Mess With the MID
Americans overwhelmingly oppose any action by Congress to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction, according to a nationwide survey which supports the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORSŪ position that homeownership incentives must be preserved.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they support retaining federal tax incentives to promote homeownership in a survey commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders. "These results show strong national voter support for keeping the mortgage interest deduction,” said Neil Newhouse, partner at Public Opinion Strategies, a research firm based in Alexandria, Va., which conducted the survey.

"Clearly, voters have a very strong connection to the home mortgage interest deduction and are not likely to respond well to efforts to reduce or eliminate it. In fact, voters overwhelmingly say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supported either eliminating or reducing the home mortgage interest deduction," Newhouse said.

NAHB's findings bolster efforts by NAR to refocus national attention on the benefits of homeownership. NAR's Homeownership Matters initiative is dedicated to maintaining taxpayer incentives and challenging misleading reports in the media that are being used to attack long-standing government policies. NAR will host a free webinar on Sept. 28 featuring chief economist Lawrence Yun to provide practitioners and REALTORŪ association executives with information on NAR's initiative.

Even when told that getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction would help ease the federal budget deficit, 72 percent of respondents in the NAHB survey opposed any proposal to abolish the home mortgage interest deduction. This cut across partisan lines and home owner status; 76 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Independents, and 64 percent of Democrats oppose eliminating the deduction. Meanwhile, 75 percent of home owners and 55 percent of renters also oppose doing away with the home mortgage interest deduction.

Public Opinion Strategies conducted the survey Sept. 9 through 12 to assess the public's attitude toward the mortgage interest deduction and the importance of homeownership.

"As the midterm elections draw near, voters are sending a resounding message to Congress and the Administration: Don't meddle with the mortgage interest deduction or other tax incentives that support homeownership," said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Sources: NAR, National Association of Home Builders

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