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Congress has reasons to keep tax break

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By Bloomberg News
Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 6:06 p.m.
 

Congress has reasons to keep tax break

WASHINGTON — Only a small percentage of taxpayers benefit from the ability to deduct mortgage interest on a second home. That group just happens to include many of the people who craft the nation's tax laws.

Members of the congressional tax-writing committees are eight times more likely than the average American to own a second home with a mortgage, casting doubt on their eagerness to curb the tax break, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Lawmakers are an ideal market for second homes: They're wealthier than the typical person and they live and work in two places — their home states and Washington. That will shape their approach to revising the tax code, said Bill Allison, editorial director of the Sunlight Foundation in Washington, which promotes government transparency.

“What you end up seeing out of Washington is a real disconnect between how Congress lives in Washington as one of the most affluent areas now, and how the rest of the country lives,” Allison said.

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