Koch Group Says Realtors Among Those ‘Jeopardizing’ Tax Overhaul

A group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch unveiled a television and digital campaign Wednesday that claims “corporate welfare” threatens Republican efforts to dramatically alter the U.S. tax code.

The Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce is targeting the politically powerful National Association of Realtors for opposing a proposal by the White House and Republican lawmakers to double the standard deduction, as well as several entities that represent renewable and energy efficiency interests advocating other tax incentives. The groups are “jeopardizing tax reform,” the Koch-backed group said in a statement.

Charles Koch

The effort is part of what the political network has described as a multimillion-dollar campaign to build public support for a streamlined federal tax system. In addition to paid advertising, the group has created a website it says will “spotlight efforts to promote and protect corporate welfare.”

The website says “millions of dollars are being spent to mobilize an army of lobbyists in Washington to protect industry-specific carve outs not explicitly addressed” in the tax framework presented by President Donald Trump and Republicans. “If lawmakers cave to this pressure and start picking certain preferences to keep, it could jeopardize the entire effort,” it says.

NAR is opposed to doubling the standard deduction because the group says it would reduce the value of the mortgage deduction, curbing the incentive to purchase a home and leading to a “a de facto tax increase on homeowners.”

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