The $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit program has been such a success, Washington is asking: Can we live without it? That credit is set to expire on December 1, 2009, but Sen. Johnny Isakson, (R-Ga.), has introduced legislation that would provide a $15,000 home buyer tax credit to any home buyer (not just first timers) who occupy the home they purchase for at least two years. Are you a prospective first-time home buyer? Here’s your gamble: Act quickly to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit before it expires, or wait to see if the $15,000 home buyer tax credit becomes law.
Isakson’s proposed legislation would make available up to a $15,000 tax credit for any home buyer of any home over the next year. It would also remove the income limits that currently apply to the first-time home buyer tax credit. In a press release on the Senator’s Website, he says:
“If we do this, home values will return, unemployment will go down, our economy will turn, and consumer price confidence will go up. I would submit it is a part of the main solution we need to take an economy that is on the bottom and move it back toward equilibrium and prosperity for America.”
Another bill recently introduced would extend the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit for another six months. If this bill passes, first-time home buyers would have more time to claim the existing credit, although the rules would remain the same. (The tax credit would only apply to first-time home buyers and income caps would remain in place).
I predict that the first-time home buyer tax credit will be extended but Congress debates expanding the program to a $15,000 home buyer tax credit for a long time. If the expansion passes, I would bet it will include limitations (or even be for less than $15,000). What do you think? Is expanding the credit a good idea, or has the first-time home buyer tax credit run its course?