The Tax Code's Special Interest: Suburban Real Estate

Suburbia isn't an accident.
August 24, 2017, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Devon Marisa Zuegel has written a three-story series about the government policies that support suburban growth in the United States.

The third article, titled "Exempting Suburbia," examines the preferential tax trearment offered to suburban sprawl. "As a result, it is cheaper to spend a dollar on housing than on something else, so it encourages people to spend more money on housing," writes Zuegel. "The tax code also favors new construction over renovation and infill development."

The article examines the roots of the suburban preference along three themes, as evidenced by both state and federal tax codes:

  1. Homeowners can deduct their property and mortgage interest.
  2. Profits on home sales are not taxed.
  3. New construction is a tax shelter.

Zuegel includes more detail on each of those claims.

Previous installments of the series include examinations of the history of government support for suburbia and the government policies that support the mortgages that finance suburbia. 

Hat tip to Strong Towns for sharing the article.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, August 17, 2017 in Devon Marisa Zuegel
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