NC Budget and Tax Center

Thanksgiving Dinners or Tax Breaks for Second Homes?

Earlier this week my colleague posted a profile of corporate tax dodging by Yum! Brands.The folks at American for Tax Fairness have a new blog post on the scale of tax breaks for  profitable corporations and the wealthy just in time for Thanksgiving.

America’s most famous meal, Thanksgiving draws needed attention to the scandal of hunger within the world’s richest nation. Even though one in seven U.S. households were “food insecure” in 2012, nutrition assistance programs have been repeatedly cut in recent years. By closing tax loopholes, we can ensure everyone has enough to eat, on Thanksgiving and throughout the year. Cost of 31.5 Million 10-Person Thanksgiving Dinners: $1.5 billion.

Mortgage interest was made deductible to encourage middle-class home ownership. But wealthy families can use the same break for fancy vacation homes—and even for yachts (“Qualified Home”). Believe it or not, anything with sleeping quarters, a kitchen and a bathroom counts as a mortgage-deductible home to the IRS. So even as millions of American homes were “going underwater” during the mortgage crisis, the “second homes” of many rich families floated securely on top. Annual Tax Break: $1.5 billion

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