Rep. Brownley introduces legislation to provide tax relief for homeowners

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U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced several bills that seek to deliver tax benefits for homeowners.

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One is the Mortgage Insurance Tax Deduction Act, which would make the existing deduction for mortgage insurance premiums permanent.

“Homeownership is absolutely key to helping Americans build personal wealth and to save for a secure retirement,” Brownley said. “Homeowners are also able to tap into home equity to help pay for emergencies, like unexpected medical bills or prolonged unemployment. Instead of making it more difficult for families to become homeowners, my bill makes permanent the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, which will reduce the cost for hardworking families trying to achieve the American Dream of homeownership.”

She also introduced the Mortgage Debt Tax Forgiveness Act, which would make permanent the existing income tax exclusion for mortgage debt forgiveness. Qualifying debt includes debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure.

“Since 2007, Congress has extended this provision numerous times through the regular tax extenders bill, and the time has come to make the provision a permanent part of the tax code,” Brownley said. “Many homeowners have benefited from this tax provision since the last recession. Extending and making permanent the provision will help middle-class families stay in their homes and provide stability and assurance for homeowners going forward.”

Finally, she is sponsoring the Protecting Homeowners from Disaster Act, which would restore the tax deduction for uninsured property and casualty losses. The 2017 tax law, enacted by the Trump administration, limited to only presidentially-declared disasters. The Protecting Homeowners from Disaster Act would ensure that families get economic relief without requiring any a president’s approval.

“When someone’s home is destroyed by a fire, flood, tornado, or hurricane, the federal tax code should not discriminate based on whether the loss was part of a Presidentially-declared disaster,” Brownley said. “Property owners should be able to deduct uninsured losses, period. Instead of compounding a family’s tragedy, Congress should make sure our tax code treats Americans fairly by restoring the tax deduction for property and casualty losses.

As the nation recovers from the pandemic, Congress must act to ensure a new foreclosure crisis does not take hold.

“Tax policy plays an important role in helping Americans achieve the dream of homeownership and keeping homeownership affordable,” Brownley said.

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