With Congress back to work last week after its summer recess, Big Builder Online surveyed its readers about legislative issues.Nearly three-quarters of respondents--73.7%--said a home buyer tax credit expansion would most positively affect their home building businesses in the near term, while the remainder supported the net operating loss (NOL) tax carryback extension.

"The home buyer tax credit expansion [should] include anyone purchasing a primary residence, not only for the first-time buyer. This will touch a lot more segments of the economy than just the first-time program. We as an industry touch a lot of businesses before, during, and after a closing.Sales of window coverings, furniture, lawn and garden, appliances, additional landscaping, etc. are all affected," noted on respondent.

When asked which legislation would have the most negative effects on the home building industry, 42.1% said it would be the energy bill to decrease greenhouse emissions, while 26.3% said health care reform. Other legislative issues with possible negative effects for the industry include: home buyer tax credit expansion, 10.5%; NOL tax carryback extension, 10.5%; new arbitration limits, 5.3%; and greater wetlands protection, 5.3%.

More than half of the respondents--52.6%--said they think the home buyer tax credit expansion will be the first legislation passed by Congress this fall.However, 26.3% said they think health care reform will come first, while 10.5% each said Congress will act on the energy bill or the NOL tax carryback extension.

And the legislation with the greatest long-term ramifications for the home building industry? The home buyer tax credit expansion garnered the most support with 42.1%, with the energy bill following close behind with 36.8%.The remainder of the respondents said they thought health care reform and the NOL tax carryback extension would have the greatest long-term effects.