Home Builders to Push for Tax-Credit Extension


Original Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125493564676671211.html

Dated: October 7, 2009

WASHINGTON — The home-builder industry will make a strong pitch for extending the $8,000 first-time home-buyer tax credit and expanding it beyond first-timers at a U.S. House hearing Wednesday.

The National Association of Home Builders will argue the credit has helped to stabilize the housing market and also boost the broader economy, according to prepared testimony.

“The economic stimulus created by established households moving into new homes and the added construction necessary to answer demand where there is no excess supply generates jobs, wages, salaries, business income and tax revenues,” Joe Robson, an Oklahoma home builder, will say in prepared remarks on behalf of the NAHB to the House Small Business Committee.

The home-builder group is pushing to extend the credit through Dec. 1, 2010, and open it to all people buying a primary residence. It estimates that this would boost home sales by nearly 400,000 next year, creating nearly 350,000 jobs. The credit is set to expire Nov. 30 of this year.

The panel also will hear from other groups, such as the National Association of Realtors, that support extending the credit.

Pamela Volm, the president of a Maryland construction company, will say in prepared remarks that the tax credit should be extended because it is helping to keep construction workers employed.

“New buyers purchasing homes would mean millions upon millions of dollars injected into local businesses and the communities in which they are located,” Ms. Volm will say.

The Mortgage Bankers Association supports expanding eligibility for the tax credit and also wants to increase its size to $15,000. The trade group, in a statement submitted to the panel, argues its proposal will help to combat a glut of homes in certain parts of the country.

“In simple terms, demand is not keeping up with the current supply. MBA supports tax initiatives that would encourage home purchase activity,” the group says in the statement.