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The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction for Federal Income Tax: A Federalist Perspective

Description: The debate over federal income tax treatment of home mortgage interest (HMI) has largely overlooked an important, and possibly unintended political and economic consequence of our federal income tax system. The distribution of the for home mortgage interest deduction tax benefit across states is a possible missing consideration. Specifically, this study offers a federalist1 perspective on the federal income tax benefit from the deduction for HMI - one of the largest personal federal tax expenditures on the books. This dissertation analyzes current national political rhetoric from a federalist perspective. Discussion also includes background, current status, and proposed changes to the tax code for of the HMI deduction. First, a Tobit regression is used to analyze the distribution of the HMI tax benefit across states and to test for disproportionate distribution across states in benefit derived from the federal income tax deduction for home mortgage interest beyond that which is explained by income. This initial part of the study is also the precursor to a hierarchical analysis seeking to identify significant factors affecting the distribution of the benefit of the HMI deduction across states. The Ernst and Young/University of Michigan Individual Model File of 1992 tax returns is the primary data source for this initial part of the investigation. The second part of the analysis examines the effect of sets of factors in a causal hierarchy on the HMI deduction benefit. By first controlling for the effects of personal and identifiable state characteristics on HMI deduction benefit, the possible existence of a residual socio-political force is tested. The primary data sources for this part of the study are the 1990 Census of Population and Housing 5% Public Use Microsample as well as tax data extracted from the Statistics of Income, Individual Public Use Tax File, Level III Sample, as well as ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Ortiz, Dennis S.
Partner: UNT Libraries