HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The push to further the U.S. government's home buying tax credit got another nudge on Thursday when the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America put its support behind the initiative.
The AGC focuses on nonresidential construction, but it is putting its weight behind extending the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit in hopes it would be a recovery catalyst for the entire construction sector.
The current tax credit program is set to expire by the end of November, and a 12-month extension would "encourage new residential construction, stimulate nearby infrastructure, commercial and retail construction while boosting tax revenue", the AGC said.
The AGC is the latest trade group to put its stamp of approval on more government support for homebuyers.
The Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are all in favour of different forms of tax breaks. As a result, momentum is mounting in Washington, where nearly 20 Congressional bills considering the measure are in committee.
According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), each new home built in the US consumes about $16,000 worth of chemicals in building materials or processes used to produce them.
Critics of the plan say government money only entices transactions of existing real estate, not new home construction, which attracts more chemical usage and more workers.
The AGC announcement comes on the heels of a recent analysis by the group showing construction employment has dropped in nearly every US state this year.
"Until we find a way to boost demand for construction, we are never going to get a handle on the nation's worsening employment conditions," AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr said in the statement.
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