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A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

July 2, 2009
Almost gone.......
 This is the last day the California Franchise Tax Board is accepting applications for the state's $10,000 tax credit for buyers of new unoccupied homes. They're pulling the plug on the fax machine at midnight. Efforts continue in Legislature to add more to original $100 million allocation for these credit.
  Early version of story is here.  And here is the Friday final.

Additional thoughts later Thursday:
 It turns out from further reporting that this story may not be so simple as the program just being cut off - or getting more money allocated for more credits.
Apparently, that is not flying well in the Legislature considering the state's worsening budget situation. So, there have been talks between the building industry, state lawmakers and the Franchise Tax Board regarding whether buyers might get a whole lot more mileage from the existing $100 million allocation:

The thinking is: not everyone will get a full $10,000 tax credit spread out over three years. The way peoples' finances are, and for other reasons, many might get much less depending on their state tax liability. That would enable the existing $100 million perhaps to go twice as far. 

Indeed, the Franchise Tax Board might be able to turn that fax machine on before long - and grandfather in everyone who closed escrow in the meantime. It will take new legislation to make that happen and the California Building Industry says there should be language in print next week to get it started. The vehicles will be SB49 and SBX3 38 (an extraordinary budget session bill that could accommodate the fast-moving dealmaking that often happens in budget negotiations and the need for a two-thirds majority).

This should make people who are just shy of closing escrow happier. I talked with one this morning in Southern California. She closes in two weeks and said getting a tax credit for buying an empty new house was one reason for going in that direction. She was resigned to the fact that she wouldn't get hers. But maybe she will, after all.

It is hard to predict anything for sure. This is all in a very murky fluid zone - high stakes politics in the hard-to-call-it Capitol realm. Anything might happen. We'll try hard to keep you up on it. Full story runs Friday. And I have posted that now above.

Long range, I am also looking to talk for a longer story with anyone who got the tax credit,has applied for it or is just about to close and will miss out - at least for now. 916-321-1102 is my direct number or or email: jwasserman@sacbee.com. Thanks in advance for considering.

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