BREAKING A TAX BREAK

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FYI: The debate over whether President Bush’s tax cut proposal would wound a federal program that offers corporations tax breaks for investing in new affordable housing intensified last week, as each side trotted out studies in Congressional testimony. Last Tuesday, HUD Commissioner Mel Martinez testified that Bush’s proposed corporate dividend tax cut will have little impact on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, pointing to a Mortgage Bankers Association of America brief, which says not to worry–big corporate taxes ultimately help everyone. Affordable housing professionals countered on Thursday by unveiling a study from the accounting firm Ernst & Young, which concludes that Bush’s plan would cause a 35 percent cut in the housing tax credit, leading to a loss of 40,000 new affordable apartments each year. [3/11/03]