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No Tax Exemption on Mansions

Posted by Rona Fischman August 10, 2007 02:27 PM

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I think taxes are a good thing. Taxes pay for schools, police, fire safety, and infrastructure -- all these things make a community a good place to live. And, Lord knows, we need infrastructure! On August 8th, U.S. Rep. John Dingell revealed a plan to cut global warming by ending the mortgage tax deduction on homes larger than 3,000 square feet.

I say, “Bring it on!”

Single family homes that size are mansions. Mansions are owned by rich people. Rich people spend money. Let them spend money on taxes in proportion to their large homes.

I know that I have a minority view among Realtors. Any second, my peers in real estate will be shouting about how this tax change will have a chilling effect on the real estate market. Pleeeease! So will global warming.

In the United States, buildings – both commercial and residential – account for 36% of our energy consumption, 65% of the total electric consumption, and create 30% of all greenhouse gas. These figures do not include transportation of construction materials nor construction waste disposal. Department of Energy figures show that residential properties account for slightly more than half of the building use figures for energy consumption.

Ending the mortgage exemption on large houses is a drop in the bucket in regard to residential buildings and their energy use. The increased tax revenue should go to green housing initiatives. If homes become more efficient, America can have a sustainable future living in single family homes. Without some planning, we won’t be able to live this way forever. Bravo Congressman Dingell!

P.S. Congressman, don't call these homes "McMansions," they are mansions!

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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