WASHINGTON (December 20, 2017) – The U.S. House and Senate today passed the conference agreement of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” marking a near end-of-the-road for Congress’s tax reform efforts this year. The president is expected to sign the bill later this week.
The National Association of Realtors® raised strong objections earlier in the year to tax reform proposals put forth by the House and Senate, arguing those proposals threatened home values, eliminated the tax incentives to own a home for most Americans and potentially raised taxes on many middle-class families.
On Friday, however, Congressional leaders announced a consensus agreement between the House and Senate that included significant changes to the bill. NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty said that while Realtors® still have concerns with the overall structure of the bill, fresh limits on the state and local tax deduction, and other changes, the final product is a significant improvement over previous iterations.
Mendenhall added that while the work on tax reform is complete for 2017, next year will likely hold opportunities to further improve the tax landscape for middle-class homeowners, and issued the following statement:
“The final tax reform bill is far from perfect, but it’s been greatly improved for homeowners over previous versions. Realtors® should be proud of the good work they did to help get us here. We generated over 300,000 emails to members of Congress through two calls for action and held countless in-person meetings with legislators, all of which helped shape the final product.
“The results are mixed. We saved the exclusion for capital gains on the sale of a home and preserved the like-kind exchange for real property. Many agents and brokers who earn income as independent contractors or from pass-through businesses will also see a significant deduction on that business income.
“Despite these successes, we still have some hard work ahead of us. Significant legislative initiatives often require fixes to address unintended consequences, and this bill is no exception.
“The new tax regime will fundamentally alter the benefits of homeownership by nullifying incentives for individuals and families while keeping those incentives in place for large institutional investors. That should concern any middle-class family looking to claim their piece of the American Dream.
“Realtors®’ work to help them get there will continue, and we look forward to joining members of Congress from both sides of the rotunda on that endeavor.”