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News Posted on March 22, 2013

Professor Ventry Testifies on Housing Subsidies for California Assembly Committees

Professor Dennis J. Ventry, Jr. testified on March 18 at a Joint Informational Hearing of the California Assembly Committee on Housing & Community Development and the Committee on Revenue & Taxation. The subject of the hearing was "The State's Investment in Housing: Following the Money." Professor Ventry's testimony focused on "Reconsidering and Improving Existing Tax Subsidies for Housing."

Chief among his recommendations, Professor Ventry testified, "I urge the committees to redesign all of the state's tax expenditures purporting to promote homeownership. I recommend abandoning federal adjusted gross income (AGI) as the starting point for determining state income tax liability, a move that would add billions of dollars to California's coffers. I would eliminate usage of tax deductions as a delivery mechanism for any housing tax benefits. I would restrict basis step-up on inherited property to cases of hardship. I would limit the exclusion for capital gains on home sales by accounting for built-in gains due to inflation (such that we tax only real gains and not nominal gains). And most importantly, if you really want to promote homeownership using the tax system, I recommend a ‘Homeownership Tax Credit' in lieu of both the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction."

Professor Ventry is an expert in tax policy and legal ethics. His research interests include tax expenditure analysis, family taxation, professional responsibility and standards of care, tax filing and administration, tax compliance, public finance, and tax and legal history. In addition, he was recently added as a co-author on the casebook, Legal Ethics and Corporate Practice.

Ventry Remarks to Assembly

Ventry Assembly Slide Presentation