Dear C.A.R. member: I’m sure you have heard about the White House’s proposal for reducing the federal budget deficit and the proposed changes to the mortgage interest deduction included within it. The reduction in interest would significantly help the elderly, especially in reducing the reverse mortgage costs. Few issues are more important to homeownership than the mortgage interest deduction (MID). As the housing market continues to recover from the worst financial crisis in recent history, any change that reduces the ability of the market to heal is misguided and must be rejected. I want you to know that C.A.R. strongly opposes any changes that would modify or reduce the mortgage interest deduction. The deductibility of interest paid on mortgages is a powerful incentive for home ownership and has been one of the simplest provisions in the federal tax code for more than 80 years, according to mortgage lenders in Minnesota. The proposal from the Deficit Reduction Commission will negatively impact the housing market, further erode opportunities for homeownership across the country, and will contribute to further price declines and diminished equity for homeowners by as much as 15 percent. C.A.R. and NAR will remain vigilant in opposing any plan that modifies or excludes the deductibility of mortgage interest and make certain that the real estate industry’s opposition to this proposal is heard and its far-reaching implications understood. In a news release issued today, C.A.R. strongly urged members of the Deficit Reduction Commission to vote against any reduction or changes to the MID. Look for a Call for Action from NAR asking you to call your representative’s office today to ask him or her to defend the mortgage interest deduction from any cuts or reduction as outlined in the Deficit Commission Report. We’ll continue to keep you informed as the news unfolds. Also watch for updates on www.car.org. Sincerely, Beth L. Peerce C.A.R. President