Birmingham REALTORS® Welcome Congressman Gary Palmer

garypalmer2On Wednesday, REALTOR® leadership of the Birmingham Association of REALTORS® welcomed Alabama 6th Congressional District Congressman Gary Palmer to their Association to discuss his work in Washington and covered several topics concerning real estate and homeownership in Alabama.

Past BAR President and Federal Political Coordinator Hal Tillman welcomed Congressman Palmer and pledged the continued support of the Birmingham Association of REALTORS® to his efforts on behalf of REALTORS® and homeowners in Alabama’s 6th District.

“It’s always great when we get a chance to meet face-to-face with our elected leaders in Washington,” said 2016 BAR President Dot Mash. “We were able to talk about important issues facing our industry like 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges for our Commercial members and the importance of the mortgage tax deduction.”

Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code allows investors to defer capital gains taxes on the exchange of like-kind properties. 1031, or tax-deferred, exchanges hold great advantages for both investors and REALTORS®.

The National Association of REALTORS® says that the Tax Reform Act of 1986 proved when the tax benefits associated with real estate ownership are curtailed, the value of real estate declines.

The current cap permitting deductions of the interest paid on mortgages of up to $1 million has not been modified or indexed since it was adopted in 1987.

Eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would hurt middle-income families the most. According to IRS tax return data from 2013, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of the families who claim the mortgage interest deduction have household incomes between $50,000 and $200,000, and 56 percent have incomes of less than $100,000.

“Beyond helping clients buy and sell their homes or commercial property, our responsibility as REALTORS® is about being the voice for these clients in government,” said Mash. “One of our important responsibilities as an Association is to make sure we take the time to speak to our elected leaders and urge them to protect homeowners as they work to guide our nation.”