Guess Who Stopped the Squeeze on Oregon Homeowners?
At a time when the number of Oregon homeowners was at one of its all-time lows, state legislators tried to squeeze more revenue out of those homeowners—an average of $2,971 per property, to be precise.
That’s how much average Oregon homeowners see in tax savings from the mortgage interest deduction. But some legislators were moving to eliminate it in the 2013 state legislative budget sessions. Taking the deduction away just when the latest U.S. Census data revealed that homeownership had dropped to 1995 levels was a foolhardy idea, so the Oregon Association of REALTORS® organized opposition to it.
Through public awareness campaigns and efforts of individual REALTORS® across the state, more than 500 REALTORS® staged a “REALTOR@ Day at the Capitol” demonstration to voice their opposition to the legislation. End result: The deduction was kept in place.
Why Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction So Important?
Since 1913, this deduction has been an important means for Oregonians and all Americans to achieve the dream of homeownership and stay in their homes. Fewer Oregonians are able to clear the hurdles toward homeownership today because of stricter lending rules and a still-recovering economy.
Reducing real estate affordability by increasing potential homebuyers’ tax burdens only hurts the housing market, which has ramifications for the health of the state’s economy.
Watchful and Ready
What happened in Oregon was a close call that happens too often in other states, too. REALTORS®, through their local, state and national associations, remain ready to act when the dream of homeownership is at risk.