Income Tax Provisions Affecting Owner-Occupied Housing: Revenue Costs and Incentive Effects
AbstractThe mortgage interest deduction, the property tax deduction, the unique treatment of capital gains on owner-occupied homes, and the absence of taxation on imputed rent from owner-occupied homes all influence the effective cost of housing services. They also affect federal income tax revenues and the distribution of income tax liabilities. We draw on household-level data from the 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances to analyze how several potential reforms would affect incentives for housing consumption as well as the distribution of income tax burdens. Our analysis recognizes that changing the mortgage interest deduction would induce changes in household financial behavior. We estimate that repealing the mortgage interest deduction in 2003 would have raised income tax revenues by $72.4 billion in the absence of any portfolio adjustments, but by only $61.9 billion if homeowners responded by drawing down a limited set of financial assets to partially replace their mortgage debt. The revenue effects of changing the property tax deduction similarly depend on how state and local governments alter their mix of revenue instruments in response to federal tax reform. Our results underscore the importance of recognizing behavioral responses when calculating the revenue costs of income tax provisions relating to owner-occupied housing.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14253.
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Todd Sinai, James Poterba (2011), Revenue Costs and Incentive Effects of the Mortgage Interest Deduction for Owner-Occupied Housing, National Tax Journal, 64 (2), 531 - 564
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-08-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2008-08-21 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2008-08-21 (Public Finance)
- NEP-URE-2008-08-21 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ling, David C. & McGill, Gary A., 1998. "Evidence on the Demand for Mortgage Debt by Owner-Occupants," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 391-414, November.
- Feldstein, Martin S & Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1987.
"The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 710-36, August.
- Metcalf, Gilbert & Feldstein, Martin, 1987. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," Scholarly Articles 2766699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Martin Feldstein & Gilbert Metcalf, 1986. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," NBER Working Papers 1791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James Poterba & Todd Sinai, 2008. "Tax Expenditures for Owner-Occupied Housing: Deductions for Property Taxes and Mortgage Interest and the Exclusion of Imputed Rental Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 84-89, May.
- Martin Gervais & Manish Pandey, 2005.
"Who Cares about Mortgage Interest Deductibility?,"
University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers
20059, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
- Poterba, James M, 1992.
"Taxation and Housing: Old Questions, New Answers,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 237-42, May.
- Martin Gervais, 1998.
"Housing Taxation and Capital Accumulation,"
UWO Department of Economics Working Papers
9807, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
- Follain, James R. & Ling, David C., 1991. "The Federal Tax Subsidy to Housing and the Reduced Value of the Mortgage Interest Deduction," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 147-68, June.
- Rosanne Altshuler & Robert Dietz, 2008. "Reconsidering Tax Expenditure Estimation: Challenges And Reforms," Departmental Working Papers 200804, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005.
"Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions," NBER Working Papers 11643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Jones, Lawrence D., 1995. "Net wealth, marginal tax rates and the demand for home mortgage debt," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 297-322, June.
- Todd Sinai & Joseph Gyourko, 2004. "The (Un)changing Geographical Distribution of Housing Tax Benefits: 1980 to 2000," NBER Working Papers 10322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert M. Dunsky & James R. Follain, 2000. "Tax-Induced Portfolio Reshuffling: The Case of the Mortgage Interest Deduction," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 683-718.
- Anderson, John E. & Clemens, Jeffrey & Hanson, Andrew, 2007. "Capping the Mortgage Interest Deduction," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(4), pages 769-85, December.
- Mika Kortelainen & Tuukka Saarimaa, 2012.
"Do Homeowners Benefit Urban Neighborhoods? Evidence from Housing Prices,"
SERC Discussion Papers
0110, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
- Mika Kortelainen & Tuukka Saarimaa, 2012. "Do homeowners benefit urban neighborhoods? Evidence from housing prices," Working Papers 36, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
- Cho, Sang-Wook (Stanley) & Francis, Johanna L., 2011.
"Tax treatment of owner occupied housing and wealth inequality,"
Journal of Macroeconomics,
Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 42-60, March.
- Sang-Wook Stanley Cho & Johanna Francis, 2008. "Tax Treatment of Owner Occupied Housing and Wealth Inequality," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2008-17, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
- Poterba, James M. & Sinai, Todd, 2011. "Revenue Costs And Incentive Effects Of The Mortgage Interest Deduction For Owner-Occupied Housing," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 531-64, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.