TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, July 28, 2011

TPC Hosts Program Today on Rethinking the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Tax Policy Center Logo The Tax Policy Center hosts a lunchtime program today on Rethinking the Mortgage Interest Deduction at noon EST (webcast):

The mortgage interest deduction has long been one of the sacred cows of tax policy. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, however, many observers have begun to wonder whether the time has finally come for reform. Ideas range from getting rid of America's favorite tax break to provide more revenue for solving the debt ceiling debate to overhauling it as a part of broad tax policy reform. And since neither debt nor homeownership look as special as they did just a few years ago, there is ample room for discussion. Jumping into the fray, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and the Reason Foundation are bringing together a panel of experts to debate the future of the mortgage interest deduction. 

Here are the panelists (with links to their presentations):

  • Edmund Andrews (Managing Editor, National Journal) (moderator).
  • Seth Hanlon (Director of Fiscal Policy, Center for American Progress)
  • Eric Toder (Co-director, Tax Policy Center)
  • Dean Stansel (Fellow, Reason Foundation)
  • Lawrence Yun (Chief Economist, National Association of REALTORS®)

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I read today that mortgage lenders may start requiring twenty percent downpayments on home loans. If you add the removal of the mortgage interest tax deduction to that, home ownership and the construction industry will never fully recover.

But, perhaps Obama could propose a "cash for shacks" program and pay people money to have their older homes destroyed so that they will buy new ones. Let's see how well that works in Detroit.

Posted by: Woody | Jul 28, 2011 6:19:38 AM

Can someone remind us what the arguments were back in (year??) when the mortgage interest deduction was capped at $1 million of debt? What would happen today if the cap were reduced grsdually -- say from $1 million now by $100,000 per year down to $0?

Posted by: eli bortman | Jul 29, 2011 5:42:17 AM