Tax Death

The NAHB supports passage of H.R.8, the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2003.

"The estate tax has placed a burden on the heirs of family-run home building companies who, in some cases, have had to liquidate their assets to pay the tax. The death tax is a threat to the future viability and growth of family-owned businesses," says Jerry Howard, NAHB executive vice president and CEO.

In 2001, Congress enacted a tax relief package that gradually reduces the estate tax until it is entirely repealed in 2010. But the repeal contains a "sunset provision" that reimposes estate taxes in 2011 to the level they were originally. Because estate tax laws can influence the designation of heirs of business property and the operation of businesses, uncertainty built into the existing law makes it difficult for builders to plan their estates, the NAHB says. If the new law passes, it will make the repeal of estate taxes permanent.

Making Credit

"Despite record low interest rates and new-home sales, many people find it difficult to become homeowners or to find affordable rental housing," says Kent Conine, NAHB president.

To help remedy the problem, the NAHB supports pending federal legislation providing homeownership tax credit to developers/investors who build or substantially rehabilitate homes for sale to moderate- and low-income buyers.

The bills, H.R. 839 in the House and S.198 and S.875 in the Senate, "would aid economically distressed areas by creating new jobs as well as new and rehabilitated affordable homes," Conine says.

Legislative Gains

If passed, the tax credit would create:

* 120,000 new jobs

* 50,000 new and rehabilitated homes

* $4 billion in wages

* $2 billion in taxes and fees

Look Back

During National Homeownership Month (June), the NAHB released a free publication charting advancements made in housing quality, design, and performance in the last 100 years.

"A Century of Progress" also charts housing milestones, starting with the historic Housing Act of 1949, which established the goal of "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family." Find the report at (type in "Century of Progress" in the search engine box), or call 202-266-8254 to request a copy.

Game Wins

The NAHB earned a Bronze Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America in June for its use of interactive communications in the "Building Homes of Our Own" CD-ROM educational program.

"The 'Building Homes of Our Own' simulation game is one of the most successful education programs our federation has undertaken," says NAHB CEO and executive vice president Jerry Howard. "To be recognized by such a well-respected organization is a welcomed first for the NAHB and helps us reinforce the value and effectiveness of this first-of-its-kind program that benefits teachers and young people across the country."