Group touts benefits of state mortgage interest deduction
Chris Galler and Christine Berger of the Minnesota Association of Realtors were joined by former State Senator and Realtor Deanna Weiner, remodeler contractor Geoff Tilsen, carpenter contractor Mike Doyle and designer Angel Tilsen to announce statewide March home sales numbers.
The group reported the event was designed to emphasized the importance of the state mortgage interest deduction and served as a final reminder on the tax day filing deadline for homeowners to claim this tax incentive.
With the housing economy turning the corner after a difficult few years, the mortgage interest deduction has played a major role to in helping middle-class Minnesotans achieve the American Dream, the group reported.
Among the key findings the group released:
• Median home prices across the state increased 5.3 percent in the month of March when compared to transactions a year earlier.
• Median home prices have increased every month since February of 2012.
“With home prices rising across a majority of the state and affordability falling due to interest rate increases one thing remains clear: curtailing the state mortgage interest deduction would be a step backwards for Minnesota families,” said Christine Berger, spokesperson for the Minnesota Home Matters coalition and vice president of Political Affairs for the Minnesota Association of Realtors. “Any changes to the state mortgage interest deduction would have serious consequences to home-ownership levels in Minnesota, increasing home prices and harming middle income families.”
The event demonstrated the economic impact a vibrant real estate market has on the community — urban vitality and commitment; jobs for home builders including carpenters, architects, masons, plumbers, and electricians, to name a few; increased property value and resulting property tax revenues for St. Paul schools, Ramsey County and the City of St. Paul; and finally, a home for middle-class families, as a centerpiece of healthy and strong communities.
“Seventy percent of Minnesota’s homeowners with a mortgage itemized and used the mortgage interest deduction in 2011, according to data from the American Community Survey and the Minnesota Department of Revenue,” Berger said.
Changing established portions of the Minnesota tax code would be changing the rules in the middle of the game, locking middle class families out of the housing market and reducing home values for current homeowners, the group reported, adding any elimination or changes to the deduction would result in an estimated 15 percent decline in home values across the state.
Minnesota Home Matters is a project of the Minnesota Association of Realtors and is dedicated to ensuring the Mortgage Interest Deduction is available to help the middle class achieve the American Dream.