70% of Americans Oppose Repealing Mortgage-Interest Tax Deduction To Cut Deficit

AIA-sponsored survey finds 71% of voters favor extending tax incentives to make houses and commercial buildings more energy efficient

Almost 70 percent of voters reject repealing the home mortgage interest tax deduction as a way to cut the massive federal deficit, according to a national voter survey sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The survey also found that a solid majority of voters -- 71% -- favor extending the tax incentive for making houses and commercial buildings more energy efficient. Majorities of Democrats (88%), independents (69%) and Republicans (57%) favor the extension.

"Both of these issues are expected to figure prominently in post-election Congressional tax battles," said AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA.

The AIA Voter Survey was done October 2-4 by Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan opinion research firm based in Washington, D.C. The survey was conducted with live telephone interviewers using both landline and cell phones of a sample of 1,296 self-identified registered voters. It has a margin of error of 2.7 percent.

Other findings:

  • 64 percent of voters think the government should now spend additional money making public buildings more energy efficient, provided the upfront cost could be paid for in lower utility bills over the next decade;
  • 70 percent of voters think federal income tax laws should be changed to allow homeowners to deduct losses when they sell a home for less than they paid for it; 
  • Few voters are positive about the way the federal government is handling issues such as protecting home values (only 18 percent rate federal actions excellent or good) or assisting homebuyers secure mortgages (only 24 percent rate them excellent or good).