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NAHB Criticizes Mortgage-Fee Raise in Payroll Tax

At least one key trade group opposes plans by some lawmakers to introduce a raise for mortgage fees in a payroll tax extension.

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The ""National Association of Home Builders"":http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx (NAHB) released a statement Monday in opposition to the mortgage-fee raise.

""Congress is essentially proposing to raise taxes on millions of potential home buyers in order to pay for a payroll tax cut and other non-housing legislative initiatives,"" NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen said in a statement.

Lawmakers are busy cobbling together a payroll tax plan this

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week that would extend current rates for employees and their employers.

""_Bloomberg News_"":http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-12/democratic-payroll-tax-position-hardens-ahead-of-deadline.html reports that Democrats continue to line up against Republican efforts to pass the payroll tax extension with other elements, including changes to unemployment compensation and the removal of impediments to a Canadian oil pipeline.

Nielsen highlighted the role that guarantee fees for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may play in protections against credit-related losses, suggesting that these could harm the ""safety and soundness"" of housing finance in the United States.

""With the housing market struggling to regain its footing, such a short-sighted move would be extremely counterproductive and threaten the fragile economic recovery,"" he added.

""Just as we are beginning to see modest signs of improvement in scattered housing markets across the nation where employment is gaining and consumer confidence is rising, Congress is tampering with g-fees and needlessly raising the cost of buying a home,"" Nielsen said. ""This will jeopardize the tenuous rebound and is the last thing this economy needs.""

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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