Illinois REALTORS® past president Mike Drews is in Washington, D.C., today to press the case for responsible tax reform.
Drews is visiting the Hill as part of an effort to make sure Illinois lawmakers know that the current House version of a tax code overhaul would unfairly hurt property owners in Illinois by eliminating tax deductions and ultimately lowering home prices by as much as 10 percent.
Drews is a Federal Political Coordinator for U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. FPC’s, as they are called, serve as a valuable conduit for information between REALTORS® and federal officials.
Drews said Hultgren was interested in the data REALTORS® provided. “We gave him a lot of information,” Drews said of the Tuesday morning meeting.
The visit is part of a nationwide push on the part of REALTORS® to make sure the message gets through to the House members who could vote later this week on a package of reforms.
Nearly 30 percent of Illinois REALTORS® have responded to a Call for Action urging lawmakers to proceed with care when reforming the tax code. (Take part here).
REALTORS® are not against tax reform, but are concerned about protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction and deductions for state and local taxes. As drafted, the proposal now would:
- Increase the standard deduction on tax returns, which could put home ownership incentives beyond the reach of many families.
- Limit capital gains from the sale of a primary residence. Homeowners would have to live in a property five of eight years, rather than the current two of five years to realize this benefit.
- Important deductions disappear, most notably the state and local tax deduction, which would unfairly hit a high-tax state such as Illinois. The loss of deductions ranging from interest on student loans to medical expenses to even moving expenses further chips away at home ownership.