Homeowners who live in condominiums or other communities required to pay association fees could get some tax relief under a bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto.
The Helping Our Middle-Income Earners Act would allow homeowners making less than $115,000 a year to get a maximum $5,000 tax deduction if the legislation is eventually signed into law.
Eshoo introduced the bill with co-author U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa.
“The HOME Act recognizes that millions of middle-class homeowners are struggling to keep up with rising household expenses like child care, college tuition, health care, mortgage and community assessments. The HOME Act can go a long way by providing relief from this tax burden on millions of middle class families,” Eshoo wrote in a statement.
There are a total of 1,001 homeowner associations in San Mateo County alone totaling 79,000 housing units, according to Eshoo’s office.
In Santa Clara County, there are a total of 2,371 of the associations totaling 162,000 units and in Santa Cruz County there are 584 of the associations totaling 22,000 units, according to Eshoo’s office.
Community associations, which include condominium associations, homeowner associations and housing cooperatives, have grown substantially in recent decades and offer affordable housing opportunities in communities across the United States, according to Eshoo’s office.
Today, more than 65 million Americans reside in 26 million housing units belonging to a community association.
In California, more than 8.6 million residents live in community associations, including more than 1.5 million over the age of 55. It’s estimated that nearly half of all housing built in the Bay Area over the last decade was part of a community association, according to Eshoo’s office.
California ranks second behind Florida with the number of homeowner associations.
“Congress needs to do all that it can to reduce barriers to homeownership for hard-working middle class families. By helping to alleviate the cost of community association fees, this legislation is an important step,” Thompson wrote in a statement.
The bill will likely be heard first in the House Ways and Means Committee and other committees before it is possibly voted on by the House of Representatives.
The fees may be a deterrent from someone buying their first home and Eshoo’s bill will give individuals more buying power, according to Eshoo’s office.