By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4) – While many Coloradans would wind up with lower taxes under the Republicans’ new tax reform plan, the plan is drawing criticism for giving corporations a massive tax break and raising taxes on some middle-income home buyers.
“When I talked to folks out here before we moved, they said housing is getting more and more expensive and I’ve been surprised by how expensive it is. But this is not helping. This new tax plan. It’s hurting,” said David Gartenberg, who moved from Manhattan to Denver’s Highlands neighborhood hoping to buy a home close to work and raise his family.
The bill calls for cutting a mortgage tax incentive in half. Currently mortgages capped at $1 million receive a credit. Under the Republican plan that credit would be capped at $500,000 — the value over that amount would be taxed.
“There are so many people making so much more money who don’t deserve a tax cut and they’re cutting their taxes and raising them on people in the middle,” said Gartenberg.
“You don’t have to cut my taxes, just don’t raise them, so it makes me very angry.”
Critics worry the Republican bill would cut decisively into the market for so-called jumbo mortgages and could have lasting effects in urban housing markets where the average home price is $650,000 and up.
Some realtors speculate the tax reform could destabilize sections of the housing market and create uncertainty for lenders and sellers, but Colorado Association of Realtors spokeswoman Karen Levine said she supports the move because the median home value in the Denver metro area is $386,000 and most homebuyers wouldn’t be impacted.
“I think that they heard our concerns,” she said.