MHI Week In Review — September 9, 2011

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Super Committee Meets, MHI Lobbies on Critical Industry Tax Issues

The Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction or “Super Committee” held its first public meeting on Thursday. The 12-member bipartisan panel is responsible for determining how the government will trim $1.5 trillion from the deficit. The committee roster includes Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Max Baucus (D-MT), Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), as well as Representatives Dave Camp (R-MI), Fred Upton (R-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), James Clyburn (D-SC) and Xavier Becerra (D-CA). Many view the panel’s recommendations as an opportunity to overhaul the tax code. If the panel does not produce a plan by the end of November – or if Congress does not adopt it by the end of the year – more than $100 billion a year would be cut automatically from the budget, starting in January 2013.

What follows are major manufactured and modular housing tax provisions that MHI staff is monitoring:

• ENERGY STAR Tax Credit – Presently, manufacturers who build ENERGY STAR homes are eligible to receive a $1,000 tax credit while modular home builders are eligible to receive a $2,000 tax credit by exceeding the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by 50 percent. This tax credit is set to expire in December of 2011.

• Taxation of “Carried Interest” – “Carried Interest” allows real estate investment trusts, private-equity firms and other partnerships to pay tax rates on their profits that are lower than rates paid by salaried and hourly workers. An increase in the tax rate will adversely affect our communities that are real estate partnerships and will have a profound affect on smaller developers/owners who are already feeling the ill effects of capital constraints in the marketplace.

• Mortgage Interest Deduction – Despite its popularity among homeowners, real estate agents, and builders, talk is building on Capitol Hill and in policy circles of scaling back or eliminating the mortgage-interest tax deduction. It was estimated by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation that between 2011 and 2013, the elimination of this deduction will allow about $360 billion in potential tax revenue. As Congress looks for ways to close the deficit gap, MHI staff will be monitoring these critical issues.

MHI-PAC to Host Congressmen Stephen Fincher and Gary Miller

In mid-September, MHI-PAC in conjunction with Porterfield & Lowenthal, LLC will host fundraising events for Congressmen Stephen Fincher (R-8th-TN) and Gary Miller (R-42-CA). Representatives Fincher and Miller are key members of the House Financial Services Committee and strong allies of the industry. The Congressmen will be the driving force behind MHI’s revisions in the House of Representatives to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. To view the invitation click here

3,679 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in July 2011

Manufactured home shipments for July 2011 were 3,679 new homes, down 13.6 percent from July 2010. Decreases were across the board with both single-section and multi-section homes shipments down compared with the same month last year.

Compared with 2010, this year has seen declines in all of the seven months so far. Industry shipments for the year-to-date stand at 26,828 homes compared with 30,659 homes in the previous year, a net decrease of 12.5 percent.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 44,285 in July, down 16.8 percent from the rate of 53,233 in June 2011. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations in shipments and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

Total floors shipped in July 2011 were 5,789, down 15.2 percent from the same month in 2010.

The number of plants reporting production in July was 123 and the number of corporations was 45, both unchanged from the prior month.

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