Senate Votes to Renew Tax Credit for First-Time Home Buyers --
Provision for $8,000 Refund Part of Bill to Extend Jobless Aid
Source: Washington Post, By Dina ElBoghdady
November 5, 2009
The Senate voted Wednesday to renew the government's $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers through the first six months of next year as part of a broader bill designed to extend unemployment benefits. For the first time, the tax credit program would also enable many homeowners who buy a new primary residence to receive a $6,500 refund. The bill, which passed 98 to 0, should reach the House floor by Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement. His office said the legislation would then go to the White House for the president's signature.
Under the bill, first-time home buyers would receive the $8,000 tax credit if they sign a contract by April 30 and close on it by June 30. The plan would also make those who buy a new primary residence eligible for the $6,500 credit if they owned their current home for at least five consecutive years in the previous eight years. But the measure limits the purchase price of the home to $800,000. It also imposes income caps so that people who make more than $125,000 annually and couples who make more than $225,000 would not be eligible for the program, which is estimated to cost $10 billion.
In the Senate's measure, taxpayers would be able to claim the credit on their 2009 income tax return for purchases made in 2010.