Housing tax credit extension considered

SANDUSKY U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said he supports extending the tax credit for first-time home buyer
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said he supports extending the tax credit for first-time home buyers that's due to expire Dec. 1.

Brown said the tax credit has helped more than 48,000 Ohio families buy their first homes. He said he is backing a measure that would extend the tax credit through May 31, 2010.

"The first-time home buyer tax credit is critical to getting our economy back on track," Brown said. "Not only does the tax credit make home ownership accessible to more Ohioans, it pumps money into our state's economy. This creates jobs, helps stabilize home prices and shores up property tax bases in our communities."

Qualified buyers who have never owned a home or have not owned one in the past three years can obtain a refundable tax credit of up to 10 percent of the purchase price of a home, not to exceed $8,000. Unless Congress supports the extension, the last day to obtain the credit is Nov. 30.

The latest Senate proposal would drop the requirement that the credit be available only to first-time buyers, broadening the reach of the program but also adding to its cost, estimated by congressional analysts at $16.7 billion.

The backers of that idea have suggested that their measure be attached to another pending bill aimed at throwing a lifeline to people hit by the recession, an extension of federal assistance to the millions in danger of exhausting unemployment insurance benefits.

While the White House says there will not be a second stimulus package following the $787 billion economy booster enacted last February, extending the homebuyers' credit and unemployment benefits are among several primary means being pushed by the administration or Congress to help people get through the prolonged economic downturn.

Others include continued subsidies for laid-off workers trying to keep their health insurance and a proposal by President Barack Obama to provide seniors and others with a $250 payment to make up for the lack of a Social Security cost of living increase next year.