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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-16-2005, 04:27 PM   #41
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gasbag
* Wow.* This is pretty tough.* How do young people ever get a house?* A 2 hour commute would wear me out.*
A lot of people rent and a lot of young people share rentals - I did before I got married. You can find less expensive areas than what I mentioned but if you have kids it is important to get into an area with good public schools - and that costs $$$.

However, people here generally make more than the national average too, which offsets some of the higher cost of living.
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-16-2005, 06:38 PM   #42
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gasbag
* Wow.* This is pretty tough.* How do young people ever get a house?* A 2 hour commute would wear me out.*
DW is spoiled. Her commute now is 10 miles one way. I stumbled
onto a lead for a similar position after we return from Texas in
March. The commute would be about 45 minutes. She said
"No way!"

JG
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-16-2005, 06:45 PM   #43
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider
My point exactly. I do not believe people should be buying million dollar homes unless they have at least $700k in CASH.

Certainly would keep home prices reasonable, and maybe just maybe people REALLY could afford what they buy.

SWR
This is almost unbelieveable! Have you people heard of free
enterprise?? There should NEVER be any limits on what people
can borrow or on what lenders can loan. Stay out of it and let
capitalism work for God's sake. Lenders should lend what they want,
when they want, to whomever they want, and charge whatever
they want in fees and interest. Borrowers can shop all they want for the best deal. Get a grip folks!

JG
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-17-2005, 01:16 AM   #44
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
There should NEVER be any limits on what people can borrow or on what lenders can loan.
At the same time, a free market demands that government should not be involved in lending, or subsidizing it through the tax code. The free market should also be the sole arbiter of how many homes are built, not the government through zoning regulations. The free market should set interest rates, not the government, etc...

It is already too late, there is no longer a free market with respect to housing. All decsions are now political.
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-17-2005, 07:12 AM   #45
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
There should NEVER be any limits on what people
can borrow or on what lenders can loan. Stay out of it and let
capitalism work for God's sake. Lenders should lend what they want,
when they want, to whomever they want, and charge whatever
they want in fees and interest. Borrowers can shop all they want for the best deal. Get a grip folks!

JG
Again, my point exactly. Borrow as much as you like, lend as much as you like. Let Free market control it and DO NOT allow the government to subsidize the free market! People should buy homes because they can afford them, NOT because there is a benefit to do so. Up to a certain point of course. All a $1m mortgage deduction benefits is a very high earner. Not the less affluent Mr. and Mrs. avarage that need a reasonably priced home. It's the old Rich get Richer, and poor get poore scenarior. How about helping the middle class for a change.

The poor will NEVER be able to get ahead without complete subsidy from uncle same, they do not have the resources otherwise. The middle class (A Guess here, annual family income of say $40-65k) are being priced out of the housing market, in areas where they can get a decent earning potential. Those who have an income over that are the winners. So LIMIT Mortgage deductions to about $300k. This will help boulster the middle class. (IMHO).

Personally, I consider myself middle class. I have never had a morgage over $200k, and never will. Over the years we have accumulated house equity wealth. I never forget that it is house equity wealth! Not New car buying wealth, or expensive vacation wealth, 50" Plasma TV wealth or ? It is reserved for a home and will remain as such. The problems with a debt ridden society as it is here in the USA today (and other places I am sure), is it induces a boom and bust economy.

JG, we love you but, I stand to differ on this one, as a gentleman of course. (UK origin) When we were young, we saved and purchased, not purchased first then saved. We had no help from the governement to buy homes, or anything else for that matter, and we managed. Canada does the same. Their overall economies are doing a little better than the US right now, at least from a currency perspective.

This attituded of buy, buy, buy, go bankrupt, then after 7 years start buying again, is ludicrous. At least there is a movement to change that in the works, and it started with some minor reform on October 10th.

Off Soap Box.

SWR
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-17-2005, 08:30 AM   #46
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
This is almost unbelieveable! Have you people heard of free
enterprise?? There should NEVER be any limits on what people
can borrow or on what lenders can loan. Stay out of it and let
capitalism work for God's sake. Lenders should lend what they want,
when they want, to whomever they want, and charge whatever
they want in fees and interest. Borrowers can shop all they want for the best deal. Get a grip folks!
JG
I bet these these same lending institutions will come running to the government when it suits their interests, like bailing them out when they fail. Isn't that what happened with the Savings & Loan crisis in the 80's?

There is a role government can play, keeping poorly managed companies from creating problems and preventing problems from becoming a crisis.

These crisises can cause the economy and the markets to go into the toilet.

Another one that has the potential to become a bailout by government is the drastic underfunding of pension obligations.
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-17-2005, 08:49 AM   #47
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
I bet these these same lending institutions will come running to the government when it suits their interests, like bailing them out when they fail. Isn't that what happened with the Savings & Loan crisis in the 80's?

There is a role government can play, keeping poorly managed companies from creating problems and preventing problems from becoming a crisis.

These crisises can cause the economy and the markets to go into the toilet.

Another one that has the potential to become a bailout by government is the drastic underfunding of pension obligations.
I am not talking about economic meltdown of biblical proportions.
Even I would agree the government should do something in that
case. Otherwise, they should stay out of it. People will go broke
and so will lenders. That's the way capitalism works..............
winners and losers. You take that away and what have you got?
Rampant "Big Brotherism", like the sport events where a winner
is never declared because someone's self esteem might be injured.
Liberal/PC/leftist/do-gooder thinking.

JG
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-17-2005, 09:10 AM   #48
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider
Again, my point exactly. Borrow as much as you like, lend as much as you like. Let Free market control it and DO NOT allow the government to subsidize the free market!* People should buy homes because they can afford them, NOT because there is a benefit to do so. Up to a certain point of course. All a $1m mortgage deduction benefits is a very high earner. Not the less affluent Mr. and Mrs. avarage that need a reasonably priced home. It's the old Rich get Richer, and poor get poore scenarior. How about helping the middle class for a change.

The poor will NEVER be able to get ahead without complete subsidy from uncle same, they do not have the resources otherwise. The middle class (A Guess here, annual family income of say $40-65k) are being priced out of the housing market, in areas where they can get a decent earning potential. Those who have an income over that are the winners. So LIMIT Mortgage deductions to about $300k. This will help boulster the middle class. (IMHO).

Personally, I consider myself middle class. I have never had a morgage over $200k, and never will. Over the years we have accumulated house equity wealth. I never forget that it is house equity wealth! Not New car buying wealth, or expensive vacation wealth, 50" Plasma TV wealth or ? It is reserved for a home and will remain as such. The problems with a debt ridden society as it is here in the USA today (and other places I am sure), is it induces a boom and bust economy.

JG, we love you but, I stand to differ on this one, as a gentleman of course. (UK origin) When we were young, we saved and purchased, not purchased first then saved. We had no help from the governement to buy homes, or anything else for that matter, and we managed. Canada does the same. Their overall economies are doing a little better than the US right now, at least from a currency perspective.

This attituded of buy, buy, buy, go bankrupt, then after 7 years start buying again, is ludicrous. At least there is a movement to change that in the works, and it started with some minor reform on October 10th.

Off Soap Box.

SWR
I have no problem with what you have done, just object (strongly)
to anyone imposing limits on others. Example............if someone
has an income of 10K per year and a net worth to match, and they can convince
someone else to give them a million dollar mortgage; I think that is just fine.
A bit hyperbolic, but you see my point. (BTW, in thinking about it, this could
actually be done. Can you figure out how?)

JG
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-17-2005, 09:18 AM   #49
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael
At the same time, a free market demands that government should not be involved in lending, or subsidizing it through the tax code.* The free market should also be the sole arbiter of how many homes are built, not the government through zoning regulations.* The free market should set interest rates, not the government, etc...*

It is already too late, there is no longer a free market with respect to housing.* All decsions are now political.
Well, I pretty much agree that it is "too late". Thus, when I rant about
capitalism and free markets, please keep in mind that I know we don't
really have that any more. It's just me wishing.

JG
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-17-2005, 10:07 AM   #50
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I have no problem with what you have done, just object (strongly)
to anyone imposing limits on others. Example............if someone
has an income of 10K per year and a net worth to match, and they can convince
someone else to give them a million dollar mortgage; I think that is just fine.
A bit hyperbolic, but you see my point. (BTW, in thinking about it, this could
actually be done. Can you figure out how?)

JG
John:

I am not desputing that. It is the amount of tax deduction I am talking about. I AGREE the government should keep out of it. RIGHT OUT OF IT. Unfortunately, one cannot simply remove the mortgage deduction as most people with high mortgages would simply loose their homes.

I think we are saying the same thing, just in different ways. I am taking about the deduction not the mortgage itself. Go at you if you want a $1m loan. Just don't expect the government to subsidize it.

SWR
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-17-2005, 07:02 PM   #51
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Small side point: The mortgage interest deduction does not make housing more affordable. People buy as much house as they can afford based on the monthly payment. If you subsidize the monthly payment, people demand more house, which pushes up housing prices - keeping affordability constant, more or less. The beneficiaries of the home mortgage deduction are lending institutions that collect more interest on the larger loan balances.

Another perverse impact of the home mortgage deduction is that it may actually make real estate less affordable for first-time buyers who need to come up with larger initial downpayments on the inflated housing price.

Just one more example of the unintended consequences that develop whenever government tries to "help you."
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-18-2005, 04:30 PM   #52
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 - President Bush's tax advisory commission agreed today to recommend two alternative tax plans, both of which would limit or eliminate almost all tax deductions, including the ones for state and local income and property taxes.

President Bush is not committed to adopting the commission's recommendations, and many of the proposals are sure to be unpopular in Congress.

One of the most important elements of the plans is that they would replace almost all deductions with tax credits. This would mean that an expense, like the interest payments on a modest-sized mortgage, would be worth the same to each taxpayer regardless of income. Deductions are worth more to taxpayers in high brackets than they are to those in lower brackets.

For individuals, the two plans are almost identical. These are some of the main elements:

The alternative minimum tax, a steep levy faced by an increasing number of middle-income taxpayers, would be abolished.

The tax break on home mortgages would be sharply limited, especially for expensive houses.

No deduction would be allowed for state and local income and property taxes.

Employer-paid health insurance premiums above $5,000 a year for an individual and $11,500 for a family policy would be treated as income to workers and taxed accordingly.

All taxpayers could deduct charitable donations, but only to the extent they exceeded 1 percent of a taxpayer's income.

Personal exemptions and deductions and credits for children would be eliminated and replaced by a credit of $1,600 for a single person, $3,200 for a couple, $1,500 for each child and $500 for each other dependent.

The myriad savings vehicles available now like individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans would be replaced by three streamlined savings plans and a refundable savings credit for low-income workers.

The six tax brackets in the existing law would be replaced by four, with a low bracket of 15 percent and a top rate of 33 percent. The top rate now is 35 percent.

The two plans differ on the way they would treat investment income. One would eliminate taxes on dividends entirely, lower the top capital gains rate to 8.25 percent on the sale of stock in American corporations and tax interest income at the same rate as wages and salaries.

The other plan would have a 15 percent rate on dividends, interest and capital gains. The rate now is 15 percent on dividends and capital gains, and interest payments are taxed like earned income.

The commission would raise to $600,000 from $500,000 the amount of profits from home sales that would be excluded from capital gains taxes.
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-18-2005, 05:27 PM   #53
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

One of the most important elements of the plans is that they would replace almost all deductions with tax credits. This would mean that an expense, like the interest payments on a modest-sized mortgage, would be worth the same to each taxpayer regardless of income. Deductions are worth more to taxpayers in high brackets than they are to those in lower brackets.

It depends on the amount of the credit, but this may be a good idea.

The alternative minimum tax, a steep levy faced by an increasing number of middle-income taxpayers, would be abolished.* *

Good idea.* The alt-min tax is a disaster, mostly because they never made adjustments to keep it out of the middle class.* It hurt a lot of people with stock options, especially when there were large swings in stock values.* At the very least, it should be abolished for the middle class.* Maybe keep it for the super rich.

The tax break on home mortgages would be sharply limited, especially for expensive houses.

I'd need to see the final details on this, but this could be a major problem.* The $1mil rule seems to be working well.* The tax break should be an incentive for poor and middle-class people to buy their first home, not for the super rich to buy mansions.* If anything, I would limit the mortgage interest and real estate tax deduction for rental property.

No deduction would be allowed for state and local income and property taxes. *

Bad idea.* In fact, a credit should be given instead of a deduction.* There is too much double taxation as it is.

Employer-paid health insurance premiums above $5,000 a year for an individual and $11,500 for a family policy would be treated as income to workers and taxed accordingly.

I'll go with this if they also agree to put a cap on insurance premiums.* If premiums are above these amounts, the insured is already getting screwed by the high rates.* Now we are going to screw them even more by taxing the poor bastards?* I don't see the purpose of taxing extremely high insurance premiums.* If anything, they should tax the insurance companies for being so inefficient that they have to raise premiums higher than inflation.

All taxpayers could deduct charitable donations, but only to the extent they exceeded 1 percent of a taxpayer's income.*

Good idea.* There's too much abuse in the charitable donation deduction as it is now.

Personal exemptions and deductions and credits for children would be eliminated and replaced by a credit of $1,600 for a single person, $3,200 for a couple, $1,500 for each child and $500 for each other dependent.*

This is like six of one, half-dozen of the other.

The myriad savings vehicles available now like individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans would be replaced by three streamlined savings plans and a refundable savings credit for low-income workers. *

Finally!!!* There are too many different plans out there that do the same thing.* There should only be 2 types of accounts; deductible and tax-free, much like the traditonal and Roth IRAs.* It would also help if they removed all the income and contribution limits.

The six tax brackets in the existing law would be replaced by four, with a low bracket of 15 percent and a top rate of 33 percent. The top rate now is 35 percent.

This is almost a non-issue, but I would tend to leave the brackets as they are from a 10% low to a 35% high.* The current spread looks OK.* No need to tax the poor 5% more and the rich 2% less.* I know the rich also pay an extra 5% on the low end, but the poor don't get a 2% break on the high end.

The two plans differ on the way they would treat investment income. One would eliminate taxes on dividends entirely, lower the top capital gains rate to 8.25 percent on the sale of stock in American corporations and tax interest income at the same rate as wages and salaries.*

Personally, I would LOVE this.* But, I don't think it's fair to the rest of the population.* So it's a good idea for me, but a bad idea for the saps with no investments.

The other plan would have a 15 percent rate on dividends, interest and capital gains. The rate now is 15 percent on dividends and capital gains, and interest payments are taxed like earned income.

Again, good for me.* Bad for the people living paycheck by paycheck.

One of the biggest changes would be the limits on tax breaks for homeowners. Now, all interest payments on mortgage loans smaller than $1 million are deductible.

Leave it as is.

The commission would raise to $600,000 from $500,000 the amount of profits from home sales that would be excluded from capital gains taxes.

Most people don't even get close to the $500K anyway.* If anything, this a another break for the mansion-type people who don't need a break.* A better idea would be to keep the exclusion as is but prorate it based on the number of days lived in the home.
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-18-2005, 05:47 PM   #54
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

The non-deductibility of state income taxes is huge and it is probably a non-starter. My guess is that this is where the tax committee found most of the money for all of the other goodies in the proposal (and is also a rationale for lowering the 35% bracket to 33%). You could almost see Chuck Schumer (Senator of New York) pop an aneurysm when he read this one.

Although I agree with retire@40's comment about double taxation, but some good could come of this if high tax states like NY & NJ (i.e. "blue" states) stop getting what is essentially a federal subsidy. If this were to go through you may very well see people try to flee these high tax holes, which would put some pressure on state governments to lower taxes - one can hope.
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.
Old 10-18-2005, 06:49 PM   #55
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Yep, imagine that poor Mississippi helps pay for the high-dollar tax states such as NY and Massachussetts. Don't seem right to me. Of course I can hear y'all. Raise taxes in Mississippi, don't lower them in NY and Mass. Well, I say, let NY and Mass have all the taxes they want; just don't ask anybody else to pay for them, especially us in Texas.
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:03 PM   #56
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Um, coming in late on this, but states like CA and NY actually subsidize states like Mississippi through Federal taxes. For every dollar sent to the feds, CA sees something like 60 cents in benefits, while states like Mississippi see something like $120. I can track down a link on this if you like.
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Old 10-18-2005, 09:17 PM   #57
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
The two plans differ on the way they would treat investment income. One would eliminate taxes on dividends entirely, lower the top capital gains rate to 8.25 percent on the sale of stock in American corporations and tax interest income at the same rate as wages and salaries.*
This would be great as long as the overall plan is revenue-neutral (it actually looks like a stealth tax raise to me). I would increase my stock allocation quite a bit if this part of the plan looked likely to pass.
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:13 PM   #58
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

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One would eliminate taxes on dividends entirely
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:24 AM   #59
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http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2005/tst101705.htm
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Old 10-19-2005, 07:29 AM   #60
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Re: Tax-Reform and the Housing Market.

Here, here!!
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