As the tax reform debate continues on Capitol Hill, NAHB has been fully-engaged on this issue for months. Our efforts have been Federation-wide as we work to ensure lawmakers understand the industry’s priorities and the importance of housing to the nation’s economy.
NAHB conducted a successful, targeted congressional fly-in Nov. 14-15, bringing over 50 members and HBA executive officers to conduct nearly 150 meetings with key congressional offices. NAHB wanted to ensure that members of Congress met with their constituents to discuss the personal impact of their positions on tax reform. We are grateful to our members who, on very short notice, came to Washington, D.C. to take part in this grassroots action.
On Nov. 16, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, to reform the tax code. The legislation passed with 227 votes; 13 Republicans opposed the legislation, most of whom were representatives from California, New York and New Jersey. Among other concerns, the House bill reduced the mortgage interest deduction cap to $500,000 and eliminated private activity bonds (PABs), which are key to financing affordable housing development. NAHB key voted against the legislation.
The Senate Finance Committee approved its version of Republican tax legislation, as amended, on 14-12 party line vote later that same day. NAHB believes the Senate bill is better for the housing sector, as it provides more meaningful tax relief to small businesses and restores PABs.
The Senate is expected to consider the legislation the week after Thanksgiving. At this point, the month of December is set aside for a House-Senate conference where NAHB anticipates additional changes and compromises. NAHB remains engaged and will fight for the interests of the housing community as the legislative process moves forward.