News & Opinions
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Fiscal Cliff Avoided: What it Means for Housing and Home Builders
Robert Dietz / NAHB / January 2, 2013
The fiscal cliff, an economically damaging set of tax hikes and spending reductions scheduled to begin in 2013, has been avoided (for now) and that is good news for housing in the short-run.
The enactment of H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, will extend permanently most, but not all, of the 2001/2003 tax cuts. The legislation prevents a fiscal drag of approximately $600 billion in 2013, which would have been large enough to push the current weak economy into recession. That in turn would have reduced demand for both owner-occupied and renter housing and threatened the ongoing recovery for home building.
That outcome has been prevented, although future fiscal policy debates loom on the horizon. For example, a legislative fight over the debt ceiling and the delayed sequester will take place in February. And 2013 may be a year in which comprehensive tax reform is under legislative consideration.