June 29, 2012
How Current Tax Law Discriminates Against Low-Income Taxpayers
Current tax policies, while commonly thought to promote homeownership, have generally left low-income homeowners behind other homeowners. Using a number of simplifying assumptions, our estimates of lifetime homeowner tax subsidies suggest that the average homeowner in the lowest-income quintile may receive cumulative tax subsidies that are roughly one-thirteenth the size of those received by someone in the highest-income quintile. From an asset- and wealth-building perspective, the tax system thus places low-income households at a very large disadvantage -- both in their quest to become homeowners and in what happens after they achieve homeownership status.
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