Analysis of the Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction [January 30, 2014]   [open pdf - 593KB]

From the Summary: "This report analyzes variation in the mortgage interest deduction tax expenditure across states. Tax expenditures, such as the mortgage interest deduction, can generally be viewed as government spending administered via the tax code, or as tax incentives that are intended to achieve particular policy objectives. Regardless of the interpretation, tax expenditures provide a benefit to qualifying taxpayers by lowering their federal tax liabilities. Recent proposals to change the mortgage interest deduction could affect how its benefits are distributed. Understanding how the deduction's benefits are currently distributed across taxpayers in different states may help Congress in assessing the potential impact on constituents from a particular policy change. Currently, a homeowner may deduct the interest they pay on a mortgage that finances a primary or secondary residence as long as they itemize their tax deductions. The amount of interest that may be deducted is limited to the interest incurred on the first $1 million of combined mortgage debt and the first $100,000 of home equity debt ($1.1 million total). If a taxpayer has a mortgage exceeding $1 million they may still claim the deduction, but they must allocate their interest payments appropriately to ensure that only the interest associated with the first $1 million of debt is deducted. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has consistently estimated the mortgage interest deduction to be one of the largest tax expenditures."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43385
Public Domain
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