Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let real estate credit expire

Posted by Kenny Hernandez

WHEN CONGRESS approved tax credits of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers earlier this year, it was billed as an emergency measure - a temporary stimulus to keep an ice-cold housing market from freezing over entirely. As the Nov. 30 expiration date nears, supporters of the credit are proposing to extend it and even expand it. But the credit has served its purpose about as well as it can, and lawmakers should just let it lapse.

Legislation by a group of Senate Democrats would renew the existing terms for six months. A more ambitious proposal comes from Senator Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican who wants to hold the credit over for another year, expand it to $15,000, and offer it to all buyers. Both ideas assume that extending the credit will somehow draw in reluctant buyers who haven’t been persuaded up to now - a dubious proposition.

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