One of the eternal battles in tax policy is who loses so that others can benefit. Let's face it. Everyone can't get the same tax breaks or the country would be in even worse fiscal shape.
Homeownership is a major tax battle ground. On the federal level, when you shell out to buy a house, you get a lot of tax breaks, most notably the mortgage interest and property tax deductions.
And most Americans are taking advantage of those benefits. Stats indicate that in 2005, almost 70 percent of us owned our residences. Of course, that number is likely to fall, sadly, in the wake of the subprime loan overload.
New York, however, is exploring ways
to give Big Apple renters a bite
of the tax break pie.
The New York Times reports that a couple of bills introduced in the State Senate and Assembly would provide an estimated 1.1 million New York City households with an annual $300 rent credit on their city income taxes. The city would absorb the projected $261 million it will cost each year.
The measure makes sense for that metropolis ... and its politicians. Two-thirds of city residents are renters and supporters of the tax break say they deserve some sort of tax relief to put them on par with city homeowners. Since 2004, residential property owners have gotten an annual $400 rebate on their property taxes.
Don't expect anything like that on the federal level. Nationwide, homeowners tend to vote more regularly than renters. Then you have that whole real estate lobby putting pressure on and money into the campaign chests of D.C. lawmakers.
But if this renter rebate succeeds in New York, it'll be interesting to see if similar movements get off the ground in other rent-heavy areas.
Hmmm. Pie: Big Apple. Pie. Bite. After writing that sentence, and especially after searching for that yummy pie picture, I'm hungry!
Here is a collection of recipes for apple pie and related baked goods. Now who's bringing the ice cream?!