The National Association Realtors reports on Senate actions to extend tax credit to first time home buyers…

Within the past 72 hours, some misinformation regarding the extension and expansion of the first-time home buyer tax credit has been disseminated through various media outlets. As of today, no formal bill regarding an amended tax credit program has been passed. On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, Senate leaders reached a tentative agreement to extend and expand the federal first-time home buyers’ tax credit originally set to expire November 30. While the method for passage remains uncertain, the deal would extend the $8,000 credit for first-time buyers until April 30, by which point they must have sales agreements in hand. These buyers would have until June 30, however, to go to settlement. The agreement would also provide a $6,500 credit for current homeowners who purchase a new residence in this time frame. To qualify, the homeowners must have lived in their primary residence for five continuous years. Qualifying income limits would also be raised to $125,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for joint taxpayers, from the current $75,000 and $150,000.

The Senate has not yet agreed whether the extension will be put up for a vote as its own bill or in conjunction with other legislation. Once it passes the Senate, the measure must be voted on by the House and signed into law by President Obama.

On Monday, October 26, 2009, shortly before the tax credit deal was made in the Senate, NJAR® joined Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) at a press conference in support of the extension and expansion of the federal first-time home buyer tax credit for residents across the state through 2010. Earlier this month, Lance introduced the Homebuyer Tax Credit Fairness Act (H.R. 2779) which would specifically extend and expand the popular tax credit from $8,000 to $15,000 through December 1, 2010, and open it to all people buying a primary residence regardless of income or past homeownership.  View Congressman Lance’s press release.

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