REALTOR® Eddie Ruettiger believes his radio interview last week may have helped change the perspectives of a radio host, a local news reporter and some consumers.
Ruettiger, a broker for Baird & Warner Plainfield, provided his analysis of the Republican tax reform plan during the Kevin Collins Show on 1340 WJOL-AM (Joliet). The radio host and a news reporter were also impressed with his knowledge of the subject as discussions continued off air. They realized that they could end up paying more taxes under the new plan. They invited him to come back for another interview if there are new developments on the issue.
“The plan is not a good thing for homeowners at all,” said Ruettiger, also a member of the board of directors of the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®. “I am all in favor of tax reform, but I do not want tax reform on the backs of homeowners. If the proposal passes as it is now, it could have a huge negative impact on real estate market and the entire country.”
The elimination of tax deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) and mortgage interest could discourage home buying, cause investors to get out of the market, increase rents and drop home values as much as 10 percent, he says. Even renters could suffer under the proposed plan because deductions for student loan interest, moving expenses and medical expenses are slated to be eliminated.
The savings from raising standard tax deductions will not make up for the elimination of deductions taxpayers use. For example, he says it is a myth that only rich people claim a deduction for mortgage interest.
Although colleagues and friends may have different concerns about the tax reform plan before Congress, he’s yet to meet anyone who believes it will be a good deal. He’s grateful that the National Association of REALTORS®, the Illinois REALTORS® and local associations are unified in their lobbying efforts.
“We need to stay vigilant on this issue,” says Ruettiger. “Real estate is a huge generator of jobs. Now that the industry is firing on all cylinders, it is not the time to gamble on its future.”