With job growth and the economy as central campaign themes, presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are putting forth very different tax plans. Both could spell doom for some popular breaks, including the mortgage interest deduction.
Romney hasn’t provided all the specifics on his plan, but says it will reduce all individual income tax rates by 20 percent. The top individual rate would drop from 35 percent to 28 percent and the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, a move he says will unleash economic growth. The Tax Policy Center in Washington released a report yesterday saying the tax reductions will require eliminating some breaks. In 2015, according to the report, Romney would need to ax $320 billion in tax breaks, or 30 percent of the total, to pay for his plan.
Obama's plan includes raising taxes on incomes above $250,000. A bipartisan panel appointed by the president to recommend ways to reduce the national deficit suggested eliminating the mortgage deduction or reducing the limit from $1 million to $500,000.
Currently, individuals typically itemize if their deductions exceed the standard deduction of $5,800 for a single taxpayer, $11,600 for couples filing jointly, or $8,500 for head of household. According to a congressional report by the Joint Committee on Taxation, about half of U.S. households take advantage of the mortgage deduction. With its current limit of $1 million of the mortgage value, it overwhelmingly favors wealthy taxpayers. Most average taxpayers fall within the standard deduction amounts.
The Joint Committee on Taxation also reported that the mortgage deduction cost the U.S. $90 billion in revenue in 2010.
Do you believe that either Obama's or Romney's tax plan will help spur the economy and reduce the national deficit? Are you willing to possibly give up the mortgage deduction in exchange?
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