Legislators Push Short Sale Tax Relief

Published On : 1/29/2013 4:22 PM
By : Marianne Russ
From : NPR
Categories : Local, State

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There’s a push in the California legislature to provide tax relief for struggling homeowners who are forced into short sales. As Marianne Russ reports from Sacramento, the new legislation has bipartisan support.

A Democratic state Senator introduced the bill, and Republican Senator Joel Anderson has signed on as a co-author. He says homeowners going through a short sale need help.

“Let’s not kick them when they’re down.”

Here’s how a short sale works: Say you owe 300-thousand dollars on your home, but it’s only worth 200,000. You sell it for 200 and the lender forgives the other 100,000 dollars. That’s taxable income under current state law. The legislation would exempt that forgiven debt for California tax purposes this year.

“These people are upside down and to get them back on the path to prosperity as quickly as possible is necessary for our state to move forward.”

The bill would bring California into line with federal law. The Franchise Tax Board says the measure would cost California about 50 million dollars in lost revenue this year.

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