Real estate agents say GOP tax cut plan bad news for Connecticut home ownership

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — In downstate areas, real estate agents are seeing a strong market with multiple buyers bidding on homes.

Even in Greater Hartford, the market is said to be improving.

“There’s no sure way to slam the door on a hot real estate market than passing the Republican tax plan,” says State Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). Duff  has been a real estate agent for more than twenty years.

It is estimated that more than 700,000 Connecticut home owners deduct the property taxes on their home as well as the state income tax from their federal income taxes every year. The average deduction is estimated to be $19,000. These deductions would be greatly reduced or go away entirely under either of the Republican plans.

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“Home ownership is being attacked and we’re looking at a country of renters. There’s no incentives right now in this plan for you to own a home,” says Gene Fercodini of Fercodini Properties in Wolcott, a past President of the Connecticut Association of Realtors.

Real estate agents also say that another disincentive in the Republican plans is the elimination of deductions for student loans and for the interest on home equity loans that many parents take out to pay for their kids’ tuition.

“People that are trying to bury houses are scrapping bottom. Many people are trying to just get enough money to be able to put that down payment down and get into their own home and here Congress is trying to make that even harder,” adds Carl Lantz of RE/MAX Premier Realtors in West Hartford, the current President of the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors.

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The Republican plans do increase the standard deduction to $24,000 for couples, but in high tax states like Connecticut, that’s just not going to be enough to reduce people’s taxable income to help them pay the mortgage.

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