By Al and Jean Batson

February – a month to honor our Presidents on Presidents Day and each other for Valentines Day.

Everyone understands that Realtors are there to protect and represent you in buying and selling your homes. Did you also know that by volunteer work and donation, we also support home owners’ tax deductions and capital gains exclusions? We’re a large and powerful force working across this great country to protect those things.

Realtors, as members of the national, state and local Board of Realtors we belong to, voluntarily support and contribute to the PAC (Political Action Committees) designed to watch the gate, so to speak, to protect homeowners and prospective homeowners.

As you know on 12/27/17, the President signed a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul expected to trigger tax cuts for most Americans next year. NAR (National Association of Realtors) worked tirelessly with members of the House-Senate conference committee to help educate them on how to improve the final bill. After the vote, NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall issued the following statement:

“The results are mixed. We saved the exclusion for capital gains on the sale of a home and protected the mortgage interest deduction for second homes. As with any legislation, there will be things to work out.

  • Capital gains exclusion. According to the NAR (National Association of Realtors) in a huge win for current and prospective homeowners, current law is left in place on the capital gains exclusion of $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for married couples on the sale of a home. Both the House and the Senate had sought to make it much harder to qualify for the exclusion but…it stays
  • Mortgage interest deduction. The maximum mortgage amount for households deducting their mortgage interest has been decreased to $750,000 from the current $1 million limit. The House bill sought a reduction to $500,000.
  • State and local tax deductions. Both property taxes and state and local income taxes remain deductible, although with a combined limit of $10,000. Both the House and Senate bills sought to eliminate the state and local income tax deduction altogether.”

While no legislation is perfect and often measures are taken to tweak them, Realtors are proud to be a part of the organizations that help protect our benefits as homeowners.