Congress Weighs Wider Home Tax Credit

$8K for first-time buyers may jump to $15K, apply to all sales
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2009 9:00 AM CDT
A sign indicating a pending sale is displayed in front of a home in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, June 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
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(Newser) – With the tax credit for first-time homebuyers set to expire in November, congressional efforts to increase it and broaden its reach are ramping up, reports USA Today. Chris Dodd, who leads the Senate Banking Committee, supports a proposal to raise the credit to $15,000 and extend it to all buyers. The measures have wide support, but the fact that they cut tax revenue may make the concept a tough sell.

"It is so important that housing come back, but raising the tax credit will be difficult because it reduces taxes even more," said an economist. Provisions included in three different proposals involve combinations of increasing the tax credit—currently capped at $8,000—and extending it into 2010. "I think it's going to be a bipartisan effort," said one real estate CEO. "The issue is how to pay for it."
(Read more real estate stories.)