- Days left
Prospective homebuyers were deeply disappointed when the $15,000 tax credit for homebuyers was removed from the final version of the economic stimulus package and replaced with a much more modest $8,000 tax credit, available only to first-time buyers.

But that $15,000 package may not be off the table just yet. Senator Johnny Isakson, the Georgia Republican who sponsored the amendment, says the credit might yet yet find its way into law as a stand-alone bill. "Quite frankly there is so much outward support for what we did ... that I wouldn't at all be surprised if you didn't see it come back in some form with a Democrat's name on it," he told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

While the idea of using such an enormous credit to artificially prop up housing seems crazy, it's actually probably smarter than a lot of other ideas that made it into the stimulus bill. The administrative costs of a tax credit are essentially zero, compared with layers and layers of bureaucracy associated with so many of the other projects that did make their way into the final package.

The tax credit -- which was 10% of the purchase price up to $15,000 -- would have essentially offered Americans 50% of the down payment on a home worth as much as $150,000.

It's expensive, but it does a lot more for ordinary people than tossing money at AIG and Bank of America so that they can pay bonuses. Bring it back!

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

Introduction to Retirement Funds

Target date funds help you maintain a long term portfolio.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Rental Property Deductions You Can Take at Tax Time

Rental property often offers larger deductions and tax benefits than most investments. Many of these are overlooked by landlords at tax time. This can make a difference in making a profit or losing money on your real estate venture. If you own a rental property, the IRS allows you to deduct expenses you pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, conserving and managing the property, and other expenses deemed necessary and associated with property rental.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum