Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.) are playing Batman and Robin on the issue of tax breaks for historic homes.
Grassley, sez Fox News, wants to scotch a break that allows owners to get 10 percent off the value of the home in exchange for maintaining its historic facade. This despite that fact that many homeowners are barred by local govs from changing the look of their homes anwyay. The break is typically enacted when the homeowner donates an easement covering the facade to a charity.
It's no surprise that Washington, D.C., has also become the leading city in the nation for historic easements, with 900 granted so far.
The average value of the home that gets the special tax break is $1 million, yielding a $110,000 tax credit.
The credit is supposed to compensate for property values lost by giving up the right to remodel an historic facade, but in fact property values usually go up for historic properties.
Asks the goggled-eyed senator from the Hawkeye State:
"Isn't it kind of ludicrous to be talking about having a tax credit for historic preservation (search) when you live in a neighborhood where you can't change the facade of your home anyway?"
Well, yes, Sen. Grassley, it is. And it's pretty stupid to have those laws about preservation in place anyway; on their own, people will pay for a good chunk of the past if they find it valuable and meaningful enough.
Link via Freedom News Daily