Becky from Northampton, MA

Faces of the Federal Budget

The fact that this [Home Mortgage Interest Deduction] existed did not impact our decision to buy a house, and it did not impact the price we decided we could pay. It was more just like a nice little bonus at the end of the year when we got our check back.

...I don’t know that we were typical. We could itemize our deductions, since Philadelphia takes a lot of money out in taxes which we are then able to claim – which kicks us over the threshold of where it makes sense to itemize versus just taking a standard deduction. My brother and his wife own a home valued at about the same as ours was in Philadelphia, and they can’t take advantage of the HMID because they don’t itemize their deductions.

...I think [the home mortgage interest deduction] is benefiting people who probably would buy a house anyway. I would have bought a house anyway. This didn’t factor into it. I don’t think it’s helping people who are just barely able to scrape by get a home.

I don’t like the general idea of [HMID] because I don’t know why the government writes checks to help people with their rent (you know, we have rental assistance programs) but why subsidizing home ownership is hidden in the tax code. I think it’s an inherent unfairness. … Spending through the tax code is so buried, and it’s hard to track – no one sees it. And it’s really hard to change or get rid of. So I also object to the HMID on those grounds.

Becky from Northampton, MA | Map

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