Merkley Joins Effort to Assist Soldiers Stationed Overseas with Homeownership

Merkley Joins Effort to Assist Soldiers Stationed Overseas with Homeownership

Co-Sponsors the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009


WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley announced today that he is co-sponsoring the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009 to provide homeownership assistance to service members who are currently stationed overseas.  The bill would extend for one year the deadline of the First Time Homeowner Tax Credits worth up to $8,000 for service members currently deployed overseas or assigned to a military station. Senator Merkley released the following statement:

“We should be rewarding, not inadvertently penalizing, the selfless members of the Armed Forces and National Guard who go overseas to defend our country.  I am thrilled to work with Senator McCaskill to extend the first time buyer tax credit so that service members who are currently serving overseas have the opportunity to take advantage of the tax credit.”

 The First Time Homeowner Tax Credit was created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to spur growth in the real estate market and provide assistance to first time home buyers.  For members of the armed services, overseas deployments could have prevented them from being able to take advantage of the tax credit.  The legislation will extend the availability of the tax credit to service members who have served overseas for more than 90 days during 2009.

In addition to extending the tax credit for another year, the legislation will ensure that service members are not required to repay the tax credit within three years of purchase if they are deployed overseas or assigned to a military base.  The bill exempts certain payments under the Department of Defense Housing Assistance Program (HAP), from incurring taxes in order to make the tax rules applicable to HAP payments consistent between previous law and the economic stimulus.

“By providing financial assistance to our service members so that they can purchase their own home, we are helping them build a strong family foundation and strengthening the community they live in,” said Merkley.