Tax Reform and Housing

23 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2004 Last revised: 3 Mar 2021

See all articles by Patric H. Hendershott

Patric H. Hendershott

University of Aberdeen - Centre for Property Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David C. Ling

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration

Date Written: December 1984

Abstract

Current tax law provides tax advantages to owner-occupied housing that increase with a household's income. This well understood fact has led to periodic proposals to substitute a tax credit equal to, say, 25 percent of housing-related expenses for their current deductibility. Because all of the tax reforms considered in this paper (Hall-Rabushka, Kemp-Kasten and Bradley-Gephardt) move toward a flat rate schedule, they all will sharply reduce the tax-advantages of owner-occupied housing to higher income households relative to lower income households. In fact, our analysis suggests that all reforms will lower the price of obtaining housing services from owner-occupied housing for these households and raise it for higher-income households. The "breakeven" income at which the price of these housing services would be unchanged is about $55,000 for Kemp-Kasten and Hall-Rabushka probably $10,000 less for Bradley-Gephardt. The price of renting housing should rise under all reforms, probably by 5 to 10 percent. In combination with the decline in the price of obtaining housing services for middle and lower income households, this should give a signficant boost to homeownership. Under Kemp-Kasten, ownership rates will rise for four-member households with AGI (as renters) of under $60,000; for higher income households ownership could decline marginally. The breakeven income level is roughly $40,000 for Bradley-Gephardt and $35,000 or Hall-Rabushka.

Suggested Citation

Hendershott, Patric H. and Ling, David Curtis, Tax Reform and Housing (December 1984). NBER Working Paper No. w1524, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=227458

Patric H. Hendershott (Contact Author)

University of Aberdeen - Centre for Property Research ( email )

Aberdeen AB24 2UF
Scotland

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Curtis Ling

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration ( email )

P.O. Box 117168
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States
352-392-9307 (Phone)
352-392-0301 (Fax)

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