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House Votes to Extend First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit for Service Members

Oct 8, 2009

Amid mounting speculation over the future of the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, Congress moved today to give American service members another 12 months to claim the popular incentive. The House of Representatives voted 416 to 0 to pass the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009, which pushes the credit's current November 30 deadline back an additional year for members of the military, Foreign Service, and intelligence corps who served at least three months of qualified overseas duty in 2009.


"This bill makes sure that the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day get to enjoy the same benefits as every other American who benefits from their service," said Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat who introduced the bill. "By extending the first-time homebuyer tax credit for service members overseas, we give these families more time to utilize the benefit, while also helping our economy continue its recovery."

Extension for all first-time buyers: The development comes as lawmakers step up their efforts to extend the tax credit for all first-time homebuyers. The issue was raised yesterday during a meeting at the White House between congressional leaders and President Obama." We need to continue working toward ensuring that more families can stay in their current homes and continue efforts to strengthen the housing market by extending the homebuyer tax credit," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, said after the meeting. Senator Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia, has introduced legislation that would extend the credit for an additional year. Reid, meanwhile, has endorsed a bill introduced by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat, pushing the deadline back for six months. Talbott says the six-month extension is "very likely" to become a reality. "It threads the needles of politics and costs," Talbott says. "The U.S. economy and the housing market desperately need it."


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