The focus of the hearing was to “consider how certain Federal tax provisions affect the housing sector and homeownership – and the benefits of such investment. It will explore how tax policy affects the relative level of investment between residential real estate and other parts of the economy (such as business investment).
Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) opened the hearing by saying, “my position on the tax code is well known… complexity plagues the entire code and underscores one simple fact: the tax code is a mess.”
Under his leadership, the Ways and Means Committee is engaged in a major examination of the tax code with the intention of producing a proposal for comprehensive tax reform. A primary objective of such tax reform would be to lower both corporate and individual tax rates, offset by the elimination or reform of many federal tax expenditures, popularly known as tax breaks.
While the written testimony covered the full range of real estate related tax provisions, the oral testimony and questions centered on the mortgage interest tax deduction (MID) and the low income housing tax credit.
The Committee concluded the hearing without announcing concrete next steps, although Chair Camp and retiring Senate Committee on Finance Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) continue to publicly state their intention to move forward on comprehensive tax reform during the 113th Congress.