Delaware Homeowners Concerned About Potential Cuts to Itemized D - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Homeowners Concerned About Potential Cuts to Itemized Deductions

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DOVER, Del. -- A proposal to hike personal income taxes and remove itemized deductions on state tax returns is drawing some concern from realtors and homeowners who don't want to see the passage of legislation enacting the changes.

Bruce Plummer, president of the Delaware Association of Realtors, said if lawmakers remove the itemized deduction on mortgage interest mirroring federal tax returns, it could harm the housing market in the state because fewer prospective homeowners will be willing to enter the market.

"This is the kind of thing that will make you sit up and have nightmares at night," he said.

Doug Paul of Dover said he bought a home in Delaware because it was closer to his condo in Ocean City, Maryland and the local taxes were lower than they were in New York.

"One of the reasons we left New York was because the property taxes were literally out of sight but at least you did have the deduction," he said.

House Bill 240, which would hike personal income taxes and create a new tax bracket for people who make more than $150,000 a year, has cleared a House committee and could be voted on this week. It's part of a plan by Democratic leaders to help bridge a nearly $400 million revenue shortfall, though Republican leaders have said they are opposed to plan.

Lawmakers are required to pass a balanced spending plan by the end of the month.

Jeff Botteon of Dover said he is opposed the tax proposals but thinks Delaware lawmakers need to work on the budget throughout the year instead of waiting until the final month of the legislative calendar.

"They need to start this on July 1, not wait until June 1 when you've got 30 days to get it straightened out," he said.

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