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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS COMMENTS ON SASSER PROPOSAL

 WASHINGTON, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Following is a statement by William S. Chee, president of the National Association of Realtors, concerning a proposal by Sen. Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.), to cap the value of itemized deductions, which would limit mortgage interest deductibility for home owners. NAR, "The Voice for Real Estate," is the nation's largest trade association, representing nearly 750,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
 The proposal by the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.), to raise $22 billion by limiting itemized deductions for taxpayers is a poorly disguised threat to home ownership. Sasser's proposal to limit itemized deductions, a substantial portion of which are in the form of mortgage interest and property taxes, calls upon home owners and residents of high-tax, high-cost states to bear an unfair burden of new taxes. This proposed limit is a form of regional warfare, because it applies unevenly across the nation.
 The Sasser proposal would limit deductions for taxpayers who are pushed up into the new 36 percent and 39.5 percent tax brackets under President Clinton's deficit reduction package. The Tennessee senator's attack flies in the face of President Clinton's stated desire to allow housing to continue to be the engine driving the current economic recovery. More importantly, it is precisely the type of proposal that President Clinton studied and rejected, because it would unfairly burden two-income working people in high-cost areas such as California and New York.
 We understand the necessity for all Americans to make sacrifices in the name of deficit reduction and long-term economic health, but Sasser's proposal puts a strangle hold on working people who already will pay more taxes under the Clinton plan. If a proposal such as Sasser's were enacted, the message from Congress clearly would be that home owners, especially those in high-cost areas, should shoulder a larger burden of Clinton's deficit reduction plan than other taxpayers.
 President Clinton has proposed a deficit reduction plan that recognizes the vital role housing and commercial real estate are playing in sustaining the
recovery. Clinton's package also recognizes the intrinsic value of allowing and encouraging working Americans to invest in the home ownership dream.
 However, Sasser's not-so-subtle approach to scaling back the mortgage interest deduction would put a serious damper on housing and home ownership. Such a measure could hurt property values and property tax bases in a number of areas, at a time when the real estate industry is just beginning to stabilize.
 We urge the Congress to reject Chairman Sasser's proposal and to let housing continue in its drive to pull the economy through recovery.
 -0- 3/12/93
 /CONTACT: Liz Duncan, 202-383-1043, or Jeff Lubar, 202-383-1014, both of the National Association of Realtors/


CO: National Association of Realtors ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: LEG

TW -- DC017 -- 5590 03/12/93 14:46 EST
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Date:Mar 12, 1993
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