The Real Deal Miami

GOP tax reform plan could slash Florida home values, Florida Realtors say

Florida Realtors Maria Wells prez says “housing is the canary in the coal mine”

The House bill will end the practice of writing off local property taxes, will limit first home mortgage loans and will not allow homebuyers to take out mortgage-interest deductions for second homes (Credit: Getty Images)

A proposed tax-reform bill making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives has some Realtors worried about its impact on homeownership.

Some said the tax bill could cut Florida home values by 13 percent, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Florida Realtors President Maria Wells said the proposal will reduce the tax deduction for mortgage interest, end write-offs for property taxes and boost capital-gains taxes on home sales.

“That would affect the economy in all sorts of ways,” Wells said at a news conference held Monday at the offices of the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale, according to the newspaper. “We know that housing is the canary in the coal mine.”

Under the proposed bill, homebuyers would not be allowed to take out mortgage-interest deductions for second homes or for home-equity loans, and first home mortgage loans would be limited to a $500,000 deduction. The proposals would also end the practice of writing off local property taxes. Tax breaks for homeowners have long been an incentive to buy instead of rent, but proponents of the bill argue that tougher tax breaks for homeowners would counterbalance a standard $24,400 tax deduction for married couples in 2018.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach said she expects the value of homes to drop because the demand for housing will go down. [Palm Beach Post]Amanda Rabines