According to a study completed in September by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the majority of American voters “oppose any action by Congress to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction” and almost 80% support keeping homeownership tax incentives.
Tax incentives promoting homeownership have been part of the tax code since federal income taxes were first introduced 97 years ago, according to NAHB. It appears that Americans feel strongly that these incentives should remain. Even renters prioritized mortgage interest deduction as a topic of highest concern along with medical expenses.
The poll results indicate that voters feel strongly against any move to remove incentives such as mortgage interest deduction. When asked to rank the importance of keeping these tax deductions part of the tax code, 81% said it is vitally important (ranking as highly as medical expenses in importance to those polled), and 76% believe it is vital to keep the deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes.
Based on these poll results, current candidates running on tax reform will likely see hostile opposition when it comes to reducing homeowner tax incentives, with an overwhelming 70% stating they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who proposed to eliminate home mortgage interest deduction and 63% less likely to vote for one who supports reducing the deduction.
“As the midterm elections draw near, voters are sending a resounding message to Congress and the Administration: Don’t meddle with the mortgage interest deduction or other tax incentives that support homeownership,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Voters strongly oppose any action to curtail or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, even when they hear an argument that eliminating the deduction would help reduce the federal deficit.”
Full NAHB study can be found here.