By Peter Ricci
The presidential campaign season is one rife with rumors and myths, and during 2008, President Obama was the center of quite a few of them – that he was a Muslim, that he was sworn in to Congress on the Quran, that he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and that he criticized the National Anthem as having “war-like” messages.
Now that the 2012 campaign is in full swing, a new batch of falsehoods has begun spreading through the electorate, and one of the most widespread, interestingly, involves residential real estate, and a supposed tax buried deep in the President’s healthcare bill that will affect millions of homeowners; like the previous statements, though, it is false.
Before we get in to why it’s false, here’s the full text of the email:
Always another surprise around the corner on this health care plan….. just in case you hadn’t heard.
When does your home become part of your health care? After 2012!
Your vote counts big time in 2012, make sure you and all your friends and family know about this!
HOME SALES TAX
The National Association of Realtors is all over this and working to get it repealed, — before it takes effect. But, I am very pleased we aren’t the only ones who know about this ploy to steal billions from unsuspecting homeowners. How many realtors do you think will vote Democratic in 2012?
Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it? That’s $3,800 on a $100,000 home, etc. When did this happen? It’s in the health care bill, — and it goes into effect in 2013. Why 2013? Could it be so that it doesn’t come to light until after the 2012 elections? So, this is ‘change you can believe in’?
Under the new health care bill all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% sales tax.
If you sell a $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax. This bill is set to screw the retiring generation, — who often downsize their homes. Does this make your November, 2012 vote more important?
Oh, you weren’t aware that this was in the ObamaCare bill? Guess what; you aren’t alone! There are more than a few members of Congress that weren’t aware of it either.
You can check this out for yourself at:
So notice what the email is suggesting – all real estate transactions, regardless of income or the kind of property, will be subject to this 3.8 percent tax. No wonder it’s generated such buzz, considering the magnitude of its statements!
Good thing, then, that it is, in the words of a FactCheck.org analysis, “utterly false.” There is a 3.8 percent tax on real estate transactions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but it applies to such a specific segment of the U.S. population that the vast majority of homeowners will not be affected by it.
For one, the only home sellers who will be affected by the tax are individuals with incomes of more than $200,000 a year and married couples of $250,000 a year. Even for those sellers, though, there are further specifics. The tax will not apply to the first $250,000 of profit from a primary home sale for an individual, and for married couples, the first $500,000 will be exempt. The profits from rental and vacation properties, however, are taxed in full.
As FactCheck.org explained it, if a single executive making more than $200,000 a year sells a ski condo for a $50,000 profit, there will now be a $1,900 tax on the property, whereas if a couple with a combined income of more than $250,000 sells their $1 million primary residence for a $600,000 profit, they’ll be taxed for $100,000 of that profit, and the tax will come out to $3,800.
So yes, a tax does exist in the new healthcare law on real estate transactions; but it will only affect, according to recent Census Bureau records, around 2.8 percent of the U.S. population – not everyone.