An extension and expansion of the home-buyer tax credit is now widely expected, but it should be the last, according to Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, the program’s chief proponent (photo). “This is the last extension,” he told reporters at the Capitol, according to Reuters.
Here are the highlights of the new proposal, as reported by the Wall Street Journal:
- $8,000 first-time buyer credit will be extended.
- New, $6,500 credit will be offered to home buyers who have lived in their current residence for a consecutive five-year period in the past eight years (to preclude investors).
- A purchase contract must be signed by April 30; the closing must take place by June 30.
- Income limits will be increased to $125,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples, from the current $75,000 and $150,000. The credit phases out for people making more than those amounts.
Senate leaders are still at odds over how the vote will be brought to the Senate floor. House Democrats and the White House reportedly are unhappy with the expansion provision due to concerns about the cost. There is broad support in both parties for an extension, but it is not yet a done deal.