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Proposed tax changes would impact charities, homeowners

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Republican leaders in Congress say instead of raising taxes on the rich, they would prefer to find savings from making changes to the tax code.

Some, however, are concerned about the widespread effect it could have on the middle class.

There are many proposals out there but two that are getting a lot of attention would be changes to popular tax write-offs.

"I think (people) should be very alarmed," said Mike Pietrek, president of the La Crosse Area Realtors Association.

"Home ownership is one of the foundations of the American dream and you're talking about impacting so many people," he added.


Pietrek is concerned about talk in Washington D.C. to either cap or reduce the mortgage interest deduction. That would impact every single homeowner.

"On a $200,000 home purchase, figuring with a 4.5% interest if they bought this year, a homeowner could see up to a savings of $3,500 on their taxes," said Pietrek, explaining how the mortgage interest deduction currently works.

That's not the only tax change being proposed. There could also be a limit on the amount of charitable donations that can be used for tax write-offs.

"Yes, we have some concern," said Mike Boehm, president and CEO of the Family and Children's Center.

The La Crosse-based organization funds several of it's programs through charitable donations, including the Healthy Families program.

"We work on all kinds of things with those families with the idea to reduce the stressors that we know lead to abuse and neglect," said Boehm.

Again, possible changes to both tax incentives are just proposals but ones that are currently getting a lot of negative feedback.

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