REALTORS® stop lobbying to perpetuate economic inequality

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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is one of the most powerful lobbying groups influencing lawmakers.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, it has been the second biggest spender in lobbying since 1998.  NAR has been asking its members through misleading "calls to action" to email their legislator about protecting the middle class by preserving the mortgage interest deduction (MID), but MID in its current form doesn't do that.  It's more of a subsidy for high earners to buy bigger homes. MID allows homeowners to deduct the interest of their mortgage.  The maximum mortgage amount that one can claim the interest deduction is $1 million.  Numerous studies (see links to those studies below) have shown how this limit fosters economic inequality, that it benefits the wealthy, and that it doesn't do what NAR claims.  It's basically a housing subsidy for the wealthy in its current form.  Some propose capping the mortgage amount to claim the deduction at $500k.  Studies by the Brookings Institute, Trulia, The National Low Income Housing Coalition, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Harvard, and have found that it benefits the wealthy in its current form.  But NAR's policy opposes any changes to current law, and they aren't being honest with their members about its impact on society.  As a member myself, I have received several emails from them asking me to take action. In their message they say we need to preserve MID without disclosing its inequitable benefits. They'll cite their own research about what would happen if MID was reformed just as the fossil fuel industry would cite their own research on the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.  

Trulia study

National Low Income Housing Coalition Study

Brookings Institute Study

Center of Budget and Policy Priorities

Tax Policy Center

New York Times article by Princeton Professor

Harvard Business Review



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