Farley Urges Federal Delegation to Oppose Plan to Rescind Mortgage Tax Deduction

Hugh T. Farley

March 06, 2009

State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C - Schenectady) and his Senate Republicans colleagues are introducing a resolution urging members of New York’s congressional delegation to oppose a plan to take away the home mortgage and charitable deductions that millions of New Yorkers claim on their federal income taxes.

The plan included in President Obama’s proposed federal budget would cost New Yorkers more than $1 billion in increased federal taxes.

President Obama’s budget would reduce the deduction for charitable donations, further increasing a homeowners income taxes.

The mortgage tax deduction was proposed decades ago by President Ronald Reagan. At that time, New York’s congressional delegation lead the opposition and won the fight to save the mortgage deduction.

The resolution reads:

MEMORIALIZING the New York State Congressional Delegation to oppose any proposed elimination or cap on the mortgage interest deduction or the charitable giving deduction.

WHEREAS, private homeownership and private charitable giving are a backbone of the American economy and philanthropy; and

WHEREAS, the current economic environment is having a devastating effect on private homeownership and charitable giving; and

WHEREAS, it is in the interest of all New Yorkers to foster an environment that encourages homeownership and charitable giving; and

WHEREAS, the President has proposed legislation in his budget to reduce the Mortgage Interest Deduction; and

WHEREAS, a 2006 study in the International Journal of Applied Economics found "that eliminating the deductions would have a moderate negative effect on housing demand", and

WHEREAS, this legislation will cause declines in home prices, increase the overall tax burden of individuals, and cause added damage to the economy of this state due to reduced consumer spending, increases in foreclosures and additional increases in joblessness; and furthermore

WHEREAS, the President has proposed a reduction of the Charitable Giving Deduction; and

WHEREAS, according to Giving USA, in 2005 individuals gave approximately $199 billion to charities or almost 77% of all charitable donations; and

WHEREAS nearly 94% of nonprofit fundraisers survey by the Center on Philanthropy said the economy is having a negative or very negative effect on fundraising; and

WHEREAS, this legislation will have a negative impact on charitable giving in New York state; and

WHEREAS, many citizens of New York rely on the services provided by charitable organizations; and

WHEREAS, this legislation will cause many New Yorkers to donate less to charitable organizations, which in turn will have an enormous negative impact on the less fortunate citizens of this state; and

WHEREAS it should be the policies of this country and this state to promote growth in philanthropy and private homeownership; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the New York State Congressional Delegation be and hereby is respectfully memorialized by this Legislative Body to oppose any legislation which reduces or eliminates the Mortgage Interest Deduction or the Charitable Giving Deduction, to protect the citizens of New York from the negative impacts of this legislation on home prices, jobs and charitable organizations; and be it further

RESOLVED, that copies of this resolutions, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to each member of the Congress of the United States from the State of New York.