by John C. Weicher
April 04, 2013
In the ongoing policy discussions about changing the tax laws, the mortgage interest deduction has often come under fire. The most common criticism is that the deduction primarily benefits upper-income taxpayers, because many homeowners are unable to take advantage of it. In fact, lower-income families receive more tax benefit—and high income taxpayers substantially less—from the mortgage interest deduction than from the deductions for either state and local income taxes or charitable contributions. Even after the Great Recession, widespread homeownership is the most important factor helping to reduce the extent of wealth inequality in the United States.