According to this press release, Dingell plans to introduce such legislation on September 1.
NOVI, Mich., Aug. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Longtime builders of country estates in Oakland County say U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, is ill informed and misguided in his call to eliminate mortgage tax deductions on homes larger than 3,000 square feet.
At an August 7th town hall meeting in Ann Arbor, in an effort to combat global warming, Dingell called for a 50-cents-a-gallon tax on gasoline and elimination of mortgage tax deductions on what he called "McMansions." Dingell plans to introduce the measures September 1.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any reference in Census Bureau data to say how many homes in Lucas County this might impact. In 1973, the average square footage of a new home in the Midwest was 1,615 sq. ft. By 2006, it had increased to 2,290 sq. ft. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the size of the average home has increased over the past 35 years - but is expected to be between 2,300-2,500 by 2015 as baby boomers look for smaller homes, but with different styles.
The Association predicts the elmination of living rooms in favor of larger dens, kitchens and baths...higher ceilings and accessibility are also among the growing trends.
But the backlash against larger homes is not new. According to this article from MSN Real Estate, "more governments have started imposing stricter building limits and even temporarily halted new construction while they try to get a handle on the explosion of these 4,000- to-10,000-square-foot homes, sometimes sneeringly called "garage mahals," "Hummer houses" or "starter castles.""
As someone who lives in a 3,130 sq.ft. home, I can tell you that bigger is not always better. But, we didn't pick the house, built in the 1950's, because of it's size - in fact, the size was a considerable 'con' in our evaluation. We picked it because of it's location and view - sacrificing our desire for a right-sized home for our needs in favor of the location and our expansive view of the Maumee Bay and Lake Erie.
However, what's right for me and my family might not be right for others. I believe that the market demands will make many of these "McMansions" undesireable in the future - and the housing market is certainly quick to respond to market demands. I don't see the need for government to try and influence the market by means of taxation.
Further, I resent the government trying to tax things it believes may contribute to global warming. Aside from the fact that it is still a matter of contention whether or not humans have anything more than a minor influence on the global temperature of the earth (versus the normal heating and cooling cycles of the planet along with the impact of solar cycles and sunspots), such a taxation theory will do little to impact the temperatures while giving the government more money to spend (they certainly don't save it, after all!)
If, however, you are one who believes in such a process, I'd have to ask - isn't it better to offer tax INCENTIVES for doing something else, rather than tax DIS-incentives to try and stop the natural desire people have for more space? (It seems to be working for ethanol production.)
I'm interested in your thoughts on this...