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Letters: Hands off the mortgage interest deduction

February 10, 2013

Re "Tax reform that hits home," Opinion, Feb. 6

If Doyle McManus wants to support a tax measure that could reduce the deficit, it shouldn't be one that hits middle-income families the most.

Eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would cost the average Californian nearly $4,000 annually, a substantial amount for those who need it the most. In California, 59% of taxpayers who claimed this deduction in 2010 earned less than $100,000 a year, not exactly high income in a state with high home prices.

Eliminating the deduction would mean fewer home sales, not to mention a drop in other purchases that accompany a home sale such as furniture. And since housing is widely regarded as a key economic driver, our country could be driven back to recession.

Renting is not the American dream; homeownership is. For many, the mortgage interest deduction can mean the difference between attaining that dream or not.

Don Faught

Pleasanton, Calif.

The writer is president of the California Assn. of Realtors.

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