When the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board referred to the National Association of Realtors® as a “greedy” lobby for special interests in the tax reform debate, NAR President William E. Brown offered a swift response.
“Defending middle-class homeowners isn’t ‘greedy’ because homeownership isn’t a ‘special interest,’” said Brown. “It’s a common interest.”
Since then, other news outlets have used similar labels to paint NAR’s position on tax reform as benefitting the interests of a narrow few. NAR and Brown continue to remind them, however, that millions of middle-class Americans would see a tax hike if current tax proposals moved forward.
“Our research on the House Republican blueprint earlier this year found that a tax-reform plan with a nearly doubled standard deduction, a loss of personal exemptions and the elimination of deductions, such as the state and local deduction, would deliver an average tax increase of $815 on middle-class homeowners,” Brown said.
Additionally, Brown points out that NAR is far from the only organization raising concerns over tax proposals in Washington.
“Don’t just take our word for it,” Brown said. “The Tax Policy Center noted in their analysis that nearly 30 percent of earners between $50,000 and $150,000 would see their taxes go up. That isn’t Washington spin; it’s calling out a tax hike for exactly what it is.”
Brown adds that as the tax debate continues, NAR will continue to make the case that reform proposals should first do no harm to homeowners.
“We remain as concerned as ever that tax reform will threaten home values, raise taxes on homeowners, and put the homeownership tax incentive out of reach for the vast majority of tax filers,” he said. “Realtors® believe in fiscally responsible tax reform that lowers rates, but doing so on the backs of homeowners is a poor place to start.”