Housing Industry Pushes to Extend, Boost $8K Tax Credit

Real-estate industry wants program expanded; critics say let it die
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 16, 2009 8:45 AM CDT
A sold sign is posted outside a recently sold home in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009.    (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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(Newser) – The real estate industry has loved the federal government’s $8,000 rebate for first-time home buyers, and some economists agree. But the policy is under scrutiny as some call for it to be extended beyond its Nov. 30 cutoff—at which point it’s projected to have cost the government some $15 billion, the New York Times reports, twice what lawmakers had originally foreseen.

Some analysts say the program is “directly responsible” for hundreds of thousands of home sales, the Times notes. The real estate industry wants the system to stay in place through next summer—and they'd like to see it boosted to a $15,000 rebate for all who buy a new home, raising the price tag to perhaps $100 billion. But critics say those using the program would be buying homes anyway, and fear “one more expensive government program that refuses to die.”
(Read more housing market stories.)