According to an article in the Star-Telegram, Congress made permanent a tax law that allows Texas residents to deduct state and local sales taxes from their federal income tax returns.
The article said:
In 2004, Congress approved the provision allowing taxpayers who itemize to deduct either their state income tax or their state and local sales tax expenses, and it has been extended on a one- or two-year basis ever since. It was due to expire after the 2009 tax year. Deduction of sales taxes had originally been eliminated in the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
The new tax law will save Texans millions of dollars in taxes and will go a long way in easing the financial strain of those who are already struggling with financial issues. Taxes are becoming more of a burden to Americans as they are forced to face job losses, foreclosures and reduced wages. Before 2004 many Texans missed out on the federal tax savings that most other Americans enjoyed because they were not allowed to deduct sales taxes. Luckily for Texas, that’s changed now. If you have not filed your taxes this year, please don’t forget to take advantage of this tax deduction when you file. If you are delaying the filing of your federal tax returns because you owe money and don’t have the income to pay, you may qualify for a payment plan. Visit www.irs.gov for more information on your payment plan options.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration has created a new program to encourage mortgage lenders to modify a second mortgage in its efforts to reduce foreclosures. Under the new foreclosure prevention program, the government will pay mortgage lenders $500 up front and $250 a year for three years for each second mortgage they successfully modify, such as a home equity loan.
The article said:
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, up to 50% of at-risk mortgages have second liens and many properties in foreclosure have more than one lien. Senior administration officials Tuesday told reporters they expect a significant amount of big banks to sign up for the updated federal program to bring relief to troubled homeowners.
Isn’t that what they said about Hope For Homeowners and the other foreclosure abatement programs that have been unsuccessful? Our government is spending another few billion on a program to pay mortgage lenders to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, the same mortgage lenders who created the foreclosure crisis. It is in the best interests of mortgage lenders to avoid foreclosure, so why do they need to basically bribed into acting in their own best interests? I really am beginning to believe that there are some government officials who are not taking this foreclosure crisis serious. Maybe they don’t realize that these are real lives that this foreclosure crisis is destroying. We will keep a close watch on how “successful” this particular foreclosure prevention program is in stopping foreclosures. Because the bottom line is that we aren’t stopping foreclosure if the numbers are steadily increasing.