The Oregon House Revenue Committee met yesterday, in part to review the state's role in addressing soaring real-estate costs.
One of the questions lawmakers examined is what programs the state currently has to subsidize affordable housing.
While the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services provides a variety of programs that help fund affordable housing, lawmakers heard yesterday that the tax breaks property owners get—for mortgage interest, property taxes and capital gains—dwarf the relative pittance the state allocates to affordable housing.
Just those three tax breaks alone are worth more than $800 million a year to property owners.
By far the biggest subsidy is the home mortgage interest deduction, which costs the state nearly $500 million a year in foregone taxes.
And the people who claim the greatest share of that deductions are the ones who need them least—those Oregonians making over $119,9904, annually.
Here's who benefits, for instance, from the home mortgage interest deduction.