Changes to SALT and Mortgage Interest Deduction Included in Senate-Passed Tax Reform Bill

NLBMDA Will Continue Working with House and Senate Leaders to Make Changes to the Final Agreement

The Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) overnight by a vote of 51 to 49. The legislation includes changes to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and mortgage interest deduction, which could negatively affect housing and residential construction. On November 16, the House of Representatives passed its own tax reform plan.

A conference committee of House and Senate members will now work to reconcile the two bills setting up a final vote in both chambers before the end of the year. President Donald Trump has publicly said he would like the legislation signed into law by Christmas. NLBMDA will continue working with House and Senate leaders to make changes to the final agreement that benefits lumber dealers and the housing industry.

However, NLBMDA remains deeply concerned about changes to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. The legislation eliminates the itemized deductions for state and local income and sales taxes, but allows individuals to deduct up to $10,000 for property taxes. These changes will harm individuals living in areas with higher local and state taxes, and make it more difficult for businesses in those areas to retain and attract workers.

The Senate agreement also modifies the mortgage interest deduction by eliminating the home equity loan interest deduction. Under current law, interest payments on up to $100,000 of home equity loan debt is eligible for deduction. In a victory for NLBMDA, the legislation retains the deduction for interest payments on up to $1 million of mortgage debt, as well as the deduction for second homes.

NLBMDA maintains its support for comprehensive tax reform to increase economic growth and opportunity. However, NLBMDA remains concerned that the Senate-passed legislation could harm residential construction and the LBM industry.

Dealers should take action now by visiting
NLBMDA's Legislative Action Center and contact their lawmakers in support of responsible tax reform.