February 8, 2012
When Is a Tax Cut Not a Tax Cut?
When it spawns a new tax. Remember last December when our public "servants" in Washington "gave" working folk tax relief in the form of a payroll tax holiday? Yay! An early Christmas! Thank you Santa! Well, they needed to "pay" for this generosity somehow, so our dear Congresscritters and president devised a brand new tax--sorry, fee--on home mortgages originating from Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac, or about 90% of all new mortgages. Let's look at some of the salient features of this political sleight-of-hand: The fee is not broken out as a separate line item in the loan paperwork, it's just rolled into the overall interest rate, so most people are unaware of it. The payroll tax holiday is for two months, but the fee will be imposed on most all new loans and refis for the next 10 years (what are the chances it will be canceled when it expires?). The fee lasts for the lifetime of the loan. Right now it's "only" 0.001%, but it can go much higher. "The $35.7 billion collected in fees...(Read Full Post)