Realtors to rally against proposed change affecting Md. mortgage-interest deduction
Realtors have kicked off a campaign to keep legislators from approving a budget proposal that would reduce the amount of itemized deductions higher-income Marylanders could claim on their state taxes, a move they say would effectively cap the mortgage-interest deduction.
They're running ads, posting pieces online and organizing a rally in Annapolis Wednesday -- with transportation provided from locations across the state -- that they hope will draw homeowners as well as agents.
The proposal, part of the consolidated budget bill submitted on behalf of Gov. Martin O'Malley, would reduce by 10 percent the amount of itemized deductions that individuals and couples can take if they have adjusted gross income of more than $100,000 but no more than $200,000. Those with adjusted gross income of more than $200,000 would see their itemized deductions reduced by 20 percent.
The Maryland Association of Realtors says this would effectively limit the mortgage-interest deduction, a big piece of what people typically itemize, as well as deductions for property taxes.
"We think it makes it harder for homeowners to own their homes and to stay in their homes," said Mark Feinroth, director of regulatory affairs with the trade group. "It's very bad tax policy."
But Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for O'Malley, said 10 states -- including Pennsylvania and West Virginia -- have no itemized deductions for personal income taxes. Five others, plus D.C., limit them for some filers, she said.
"Under this plan, 8 out of 10 Marylanders will see no change in their deductions," she said in an email.