We Should Continue to Provide a Tax Break for Gains on the Sale of Owner-Occupied Houses (As N. Harold Buchanan)

Point & Counterpoint: Tax Incentives for Homeownership—A Lincoln–Douglas Debate, 32 ABA Section of Taxation NewsQuarterly 20

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper

2 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2017

See all articles by Neil H. Buchanan

Neil H. Buchanan

George Washington University Law School

Date Written: Winter 2013

Abstract

In a stylized, parliamentary-style debate, one of the participants on the opposing team was not able to attend, so Neil H. Buchanan became N. Harold Buchanan and argued for the opposing side. Buchanan's alter ego noted that, because Congress has enacted an array of incentives to encourage Americans to buy homes, and because social expectations put a high value on home ownership, many people will "put all their eggs in one basket" by buying a home. The rate of return on home ownership is, however, extraordinarily low, which means that both Congress and social mores are pushing people to buy a low-performing asset. At the very least, we should allow middle class people to cash out of those investments without adding insult to injury by taxing their meager gains.

Suggested Citation

Buchanan, Neil H., We Should Continue to Provide a Tax Break for Gains on the Sale of Owner-Occupied Houses (As N. Harold Buchanan) (Winter 2013). Point & Counterpoint: Tax Incentives for Homeownership—A Lincoln–Douglas Debate, 32 ABA Section of Taxation NewsQuarterly 20; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3033288

Neil H. Buchanan (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-3875 (Phone)

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