As we wrote about here, the current $8000 tax credit is quickly approaching its end, but there is a new bill being considered in Congress that would expand and extend the current credit greatly.
HR 2801, The Home Ownership Moves the Economy (HOME) Act of 2009 would extend the availability of the credit through 2010, expand it to include all home buyers, not just first timers, and would also remove the income restrictions of the current credit. Currently, the buyers must not make more than $75,000 if single or $150,000 for couples filing jointly, and there is a reduction in the credit for buyers with incomes up to $95,000 and $170,000, respectively.
Introduced by Rep. Howard Coble, R-NC, the bill is currently in front of the House Ways and Means Committee and if it passed by the House, it will then go to the Senate for review and passage before it is signed into law. Of course, nothing is certain at this point; the recent talk of extending the tax credit to $15,000 (S. 1230) has seen no traction and appears dead (see the widget in our sidebar to the right). There are two other similar bills before the House Ways and Means Committee: HR 2606, which is virtually identical to HR 2801, and HR 2905, which is also similar except that it seeks to extend the tax credit through 2011 instead of 2010. Both of these bills seem to be still active, but not much activity has been seen on them.
While we’re wondering where the additional money to fund the extended credit would come from, it would most likely be worth it if it continues to stimulate the housing market, as many experts feel it will. The current tax credit has brought many first time home buyers off the fence to purchase homes in the lower price ranges, hopefully if the extension is passed it will generate new business.
Here’s a widget that will track the status of the bill as it travels through the Hallowed Halls of Washington:
Remember, passage of this bill is far from a sure thing and certainly won’t happen tomorrow, but we’ll remain optimistic that it will eventually become law.