Minnesota REALTORS Successfully Protect the State’s Mortgage Interest Deduction For Homeowners
Minnesota residents have become increasingly aware that the existing economic recovery and incoming revenues would not be enough to cover the state’s $4 billion budget gap. Homeowners in particular have been worried about how legislators would address this deficit, and what impact it would have on them.
Minnesota REALTORS® (MNR) knew that the state’s precarious financial position put the existing mortgage interest deduction (MID) at risk of being eliminated. Threats to the MID were not new to the political scene in Minnesota. In fact, MNR and REALTOR® allies in the state senate had defeated previous attempts to eliminate the MID in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
MID immediately launched an 18-month proactive advocacy campaign called Minnesota Homes Matter. The campaign’s goal was to protect the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and homeownership statewide. Minnesota Homes Matter focused on educating REALTORS, legislators and homeowners statewide on the negative impacts of eliminating the MID and built a coalition of pro-housing supporters.
MHM also initiated face-to-face meetings with targeted legislators as well as spending the first few weeks of the 2015 Legislative Session conducting broad awareness efforts with educational resources.
An integral part of this campaign’s success was the participation of the Minnesota Homeowners Alliance (MNHOA), a coalition of more than 30 companies determined to fight for Minnesota homeowners. As part of their overall effort, MNHOA created a comprehensive list of Minnesota tax benefits of homeownership and encouraged homeowners to ask their tax preparer if they were taking full advantage of MID.
“The Minnesota Homes Matter campaign was a collaborative effort,” said MNR Chief Executive Officer Chris Galler. “Not only were we able to create key partnerships to protect mortgage interest deduction, but, I’m proud to say, we built a culture of advocacy beyond our association for continued legislative outreach.” The quick call to action and pooled resources paid off in the end, and the threat against the MID in the 2015 legislative session was neutralized.