June 10 (Bloomberg) — Lawmakers are pushing to revive legislation in the Senate that would almost double an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers and expand the program to all borrowers.
Senator Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, introduced a bill today that would increase the tax credit to $15,000 and remove income and other restrictions on who can qualify, according to his spokeswoman, Sheridan Watson. The Treasury Department declined to comment on the proposal.
The legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, would extend the homebuyer credit to multifamily properties used as the borrower’s primary residence. It would also eliminate income caps of $75,000 and $150,000 on individuals and couples seeking to claim the credit.
“The housing market continues to be a drag on the economy, John Castellani, president of the Washington-based Business Roundtable, said in a telephone interview today. “We believe that if we don’t stabilize this vital sector, we can’t turn the tide on the recession.”
The Business Roundtable represents more than 100 chief executive officers including General Electric Co.’s Jeffrey Immelt and Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Rex Tillerson. The group and the National Association of Realtors are pushing to expand the tax credit and to lower mortgage rates to revive the housing market.