CARDIN, ENSIGN, REID, ISAKSON AND STABENOW CALL FOR A SIX-MONTH EXTENSION OF THE $8,000 FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS TAX CREDIT
Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), last night, along with Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Harry Reid (D-NV), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced a six-month extension of the popular $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers. The current provision, passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , expires December 1, 2009. According to the most recent Treasury data, nearly 530,000 Americans have applied for the tax cut to help them purchase their first home. About 40 percent of all home buyers this year will be eligible for the tax credit.
"As we are fighting to get our economy back on track, we cannot afford to let lapse an important tool that has had had a positive effect on the housing market. Thanks to this tax credit, hundreds of thousands of Americans have confidently jumped into the housing market for the first time, with $8,000 from the federal government in their family checkbook. The ripple effect has been profound, injecting tens of billions of dollars into our national, state and local economies to help stabilize communities and create jobs. But there is more to be done," said Senator Cardin. "While we look for additional ways to help the housing industry, a six-month extension is a fiscally responsible way to provide adequate time to nudge even more prospective home buyers off the sidelines and closer to owning their part of the American Dream."
"Nevada's housing market has been one of the hardest hit over the run of this recession and is still struggling," said Senator Ensign. "It is not only hurting families and homeowners but also risks dragging down our economy further. This bipartisan plan is a proven model that incentivizes potential buyers while targeting the serious problem of excess inventory in the housing sector, and I urge the Senate to extend this tax cut."
"Yesterday we learned that new home sales have increased in Las Vegas, and that's good news. I hope this credit will build on that so more Nevadans can realize the American dream of homeownership," Senator Reid said. "I'm pleased to join Senator Ensign in supporting a bill that offers relief to Nevadans as we continue the work of rebuilding Nevada's economy. While extending the credit is an important tool to help stabilize the housing market, I will also continue efforts to help Nevada homeowners avoid foreclosure and keep them in their homes."
"As we approach the winter months when the real estate market traditionally slows down, extending the current homebuyer tax credit is essential to continuing our nation's economic recovery," Senator Isakson said. "I also will continue to push Congress to increase the amount of the tax credit and to expand it to all buyers - a move that I believe would result in significant improvement in the housing market and in turn our economy."
"The firs t-time homebuyer tax credit has been an extraordinary success, helping to boost pre-owned home sales to a two-year high in July. But we can and must do more to help families during these difficult economic times," said Senator Stabenow. "By extending the tax credit an additional six months, we will help more hard-working Americans turn the dream of homeownership into a reality."
The bill introduced today, S. 1678, does not make any changes to the current tax credit except extend the sunset date six months to June 1, 2010.
Senators Cardin and Ensign first introduced a tax credit for first-time homebuyers in early April 2008.
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