Remember Johnny Isakson? He’s the Georgia Senator who introduced the The Home Buyer Tax Credit Act of 2009 in June of this year which would have increased the first time buyer tax credit from $8,000 to $15,000. It would have also removed the restriction that the tax credit could be used by first time home buyers only. That bill was defeated in a 47-50 Senate vote in August but that hasn’t stopped Isakson from pushing to extend the current tax credit past its November 30th expiration.
Senator Isakson, former president of Northside Realty in Cobb County, Georgia, says he is “talking to everybody and anybody” to extend the $8,000 tax credit and affirms that not doing so would “protract and extend the recession” just as we enter the downtime of the real estate buying season over the winter months.
Real estate industry professionals ranging from real estate agents to mortgage brokers and everyone in between can attest to the uptick in home sales due, in part, to the $8,000 first time buyer tax credit. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, the $8,000 tax credit has been used to purchase approximately 1.2 million homes so far this year.
Lending serious consideration to the tax credit’s extension is Whitehouse spokesperson Robert Gibbs’ statement earlier today. Gibbs said President Barack Obama’s economic team is evaluating the effect of the tax credit on new home sales prior to their recommendation on how to proceed to the President.
Not everyone is in favor of the tax credit seeing continued light of day as indicated by many unfavorable comments in The Boston Globe’s article on the subject. Opinions aside, there may simply be no money left to pay for an extended home buyer tax credit at a time when Congress is facing budget deficits in excess of $1 trillion dollars.
Do you think the U.S. government should continue providing $8,000 to eligible first time home buyers or is the entire tax credit a bad idea? How would you change the tax credit?
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