Another $15K first-time homebuyer tax credit bill emerges

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Questioning First-time homebuyer tax credits

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The much-talked-about $15,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit has made another appearance in Washington, D.C., this time as part of a housing bill introduced in the U.S. Senate. Though certain provisions of the bill contain some of the boldest proposed housing policy changes on record, affordable housing advocates say there’s one critical shortcoming.

The latest iteration, proposed by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), is nearly identical to a bill introduced in the House of Representatives earlier in the year. But there are some important changes within Wyden’s version, which is dubbed the “Decent, Affordable, Safe Housing for All (DASH) Act.”

Wyden’s bill would allow a borrower to use the tax credit for up to 20% of the purchase price, whereas the House’s version allows up to just 10%. The change is focused on helping low-to-middle income earners, but the definition of who qualifies as a first-time homebuyer has also notably been tweaked.

In Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta’s (D-CA) House bill, a first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who has “no present ownership interest in any residence during the three-year period ending on the date of the purchase of the residence.”

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