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Bill stops tax penalty for homebuying soldiers, other feds moving on orders
Bill stops tax penalty for homebuying soldiers, other feds moving on orders

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 17, 2009) — Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) joined Congressman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-N.C.), and 26 other members of the House of Representatives in introducing H.R. 3590, the “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009.”

This deficit-neutral legislation would amend the federal tax code to ensure military personnel can take full advantage of the first-time homebuyer tax credit that was created as part of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“In return for performing the difficult tasks assigned to our Armed Services, military personnel and their families need to be confident that they can take full advantage of the programs we enact in Congress. That is exactly why I joined my colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation to ensure our military personnel and their families can take full advantage of the popular first-time homebuyer tax credit.

“Enacting this legislation would be in the best interest of our military personnel and would provide added economic benefit to communities surrounding military bases. I am hopeful that Congress will move quickly to enact it,” said Skelton.

Current law requires first-time homebuyers who utilize the $8,000 tax credit created by the Recovery Act to repay the credit if they move from their principal residence within three years of closing. Because many military personnel, foreign service personnel, and intelligence officers are required by federal orders to redeploy overseas within a three-year period, it is important for Congress to write an exclusion for them into federal law.

The Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009 would ensure that service members and their counterparts in the State Department and CIA would not be forced to repay the first-time homebuyer credit if they are called for overseas duty and forced to sell their home within three years of purchasing it. The measure would also extend for one year the deadline for utilizing the first-time homebuyer tax credit for service members who served outside the U.S. for at least 90 days in 2009. This action would help returning veterans take advantage of the tax credit, which is currently scheduled to expire on Nov. 30, 2009.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at http://www.house.gov/skelton.

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