Two States Consider Offering Unproven Tax Breaks for Home Buyers


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Following the creation of a federal tax credit for new home buyers, two states are considering also wandering down this unproven and expensive path. North Dakota and Kentucky are each debating sacrificing taxpayer dollars to fund special tax breaks for newly built homes. In Kentucky, the break would come in the form of a $5,000 tax credit for purchasers of newly constructed homes, while in North Dakota, those fortunate enough to afford a newly built home during this downturn would enjoy a temporary doubling of their property tax homestead exemption (from $75,000 to $150,000).

In each case, the break would not be available for purchasers of older residences, suggesting that these breaks are more of a bailout for developers than they are aid for those in the market to buy a home. And in either case, the proposals still suffer from many of the flaws with the federal break -- such as their potential to re-inflate home prices, and the fact that these breaks won't provide homebuyers with any cash at the time of purchase.

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