Home builders congratulate President-Elect Obama
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today congratulated Senator Barack Obama on his election as the nation’s 44th president and all the lawmakers who were elected to the 111th Congress.
“The nation’s home builders look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with the incoming Obama administration and new Congress to help solve our nation’s economic crisis and get housing and the economy back on track,” said NAHB president and CEO Jerry Howard.
The NAHB and other industry advocates are urging Congress to move forward in a lame-duck session to enact a second economic stimulus package that includes key housing recovery provisions.
To provide short-term targeted incentives that will help put a floor on home prices and encourage Americans to buy homes again, the NAHB is urging Congress to provide:
• A 10 percent home buyer tax credit up to a maximum of $22,000, depending on the FHA loan limit in a given market. Available to all buyers who purchase a home over the next year, the tax credit would not have to be repaid by the buyer and would replace the temporary $7,500 first-time home buyer tax credit due to expire on July 1, 2009.
• An interest-rate buy down on conforming loans for all families purchasing a home through the end of 2009. The plan would reduce the interest rate to 2.99 percent on 30-year mortgages for homes purchased through June 30, 2009; the interest rate would increase to 3.99 percent on contracts closed between July 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009.
“Getting consumers off the sidelines will reduce the inventory of unsold homes, stop the erosion of home values in hard-hit markets and result in more new- and existing-home sales in the months ahead, restoring housing as an essential driver of growth in the nation’s economy,” said Howard.
Leviton appoints director of national accounts
Leviton has promoted Brian Sorensen to director of national distribution accounts for the company’s commercial data networking business. In this role, Sorensen will direct the growth of the company’s line of voice and data devices and build relationships with channel partner and end-user markets.
In 2006, Sorensen joined Leviton as manager of national accounts. His previous experience includes positions with Tyco Electronics/DEK and Prestolite/Krone.
“In his two years with the company, Brian has demonstrated consistent and outstanding performance,” said Brad Leland, Leviton’s vp-sales for network solutions. “I am confident he will direct Leviton’s Network Solutions’ growth and work to develop solutions that meet our customer needs.”
Obama wins election
Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States in heavy voting yesterday. The latest electoral tally stood at 338 votes for Obama and 161 for his rival John McCain. Obama’s reported views on housing, taxation and small business were presented on the campaign trail, and represented here.
Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP)
Obama has called for greater oversight of Wall Street, and assurances that taxpayers will benefit from the $700 billion TARP. He also supported limiting the pay of executives from the companies being bailed out. He has expressed support for homeowners in danger of foreclosure and reiterated the need for a stimulus package of tax cuts.
Obama has proposed a 10 percent universal mortgage credit to provide tax relief for what his campaign estimates are around 10 million homeowners in income brackets under $50,000 per year. He has also supported the Stop Fraud Act for several years, a proposal that includes various reforms meant to protect consumers from “abusive” lending practices, and also supported mandating accurate loan disclosure, including a simplified borrower metric — described as similar to the APR — for home buyers, called the Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score.
Obama’s proposals include a tax cut of $500 per person or $1,000 per couple for most families, but letting President Bush’s tax cuts lapse for those making $200,000 or more a year and raising the capital gains tax rate for big companies.
Obama has proposed a tax relief plan for small businesses and start-up companies that will include elimination of all capital gains taxes on those types of businesses, with the aim of encouraging innovation and job creation. His campaign’s $50 billion “Obama-Biden Relief Plan” would include the creation of a $25 billion Jobs and Growth Fund. He also has pledged to make the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent.
Obama has proposed a plan with the goal of creating 5 million “Green Collar jobs,” including jobs related to a plan to weatherize one million low-income homes annually, part of an over-arching energy-savings initiative that supports green building. The campaign also has voiced a plan to increase funding for federal work force training programs, while directing them to incorporate training on “green technologies.”