SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Massachusetts realtors say one of Governor Patrick’s budget proposals could put the housing market at risk.
The proposal involves taxing the equity or profit on the sale of a home.
The Massachusetts Realtors Association reports a strong start to the 2013 real estate market. Home sales are up for the 19th straight month.
But realtors are concerned that the housing market could take a step in the wrong direction if the Governor has his way in eliminating the capital gains exclusion.
Right now, Massachusetts couples who file a joint return can exclude from taxation up to $500,000 of any gain they realize in their home’s value. Singles can exclude gains of up to $250,000.
That would change under the governor’s plan.
“We feel that it’s a bad idea. It will negatively impact a housing market that’s struggling to stabilize,” says Kevin Sears of Sears Real estate.
Realtors say they will lobby their legislators to fight the governor’s proposal. “At this point all we’re asking the governor is do no harm, let’s not impact the housing market any more than we have to let’s get it going back in the right direction and push this down the road a little bit further when we can have a more serious talk about what can be done,” says Sears.
Sears says the governor’s idea could hurt those who are retiring because many home owners build up equity in their property that they rely on when they retire and losing part of that profit because of a tax would reduce their retirement nest egg.