Federal tax reform could affect Connecticut realtors

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DARIEN -

Connecticut realtors are looking into how federal tax reform could affect their businesses.

While state officials believe either proposed tax bill -- one each in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate -- would potentially deter future homeowners from moving to higher-taxed states like Connecticut, one realtor does not necessarily agree.

Amy Barsanti, a realtor in Darien, says the fundamental reasons people buy houses -- to provide for their families, to be in an ideal location for work and education -- will keep people coming to Connecticut.

"Those underlying needs are not going to change," she says, "How much they consume and how they view housing, how much is enough -- that might temper."

Because the House bill could potentially take away much of the ability to write off mortgage interest on new loans of more than a half-million dollars, Barsanti says people may begin to look for smaller, less expensive houses.

On the other hand, Sen. Chris Murphy says fewer people will come to Connecticut and the economy will take a hit under either bill.

"With a lot of people coming in and out of the state...we need a fluid real estate market," Murphy says. "And if all of these increased taxes on homeowners freezes the real estate market, that's really harmful for Connecticut's economy."

If the bill is unable to pass, Murphy says he hopes Republicans will meet with Democrats to create a bipartisan bill.

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