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Letter

According to Harvard researchers, rents have risen by 61% since 1960, but renters’ median earnings have risen only 5%. In Montana, only about 44 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. Those renters have been short-changed.

Congress can address America’s housing crisis by shifting tax resources to support a “renters' tax credit” for low- and moderate-income renters. A renters' credit could limit rent for low-income families to 30% of their income and provide a tax credit for the balance above that up to local fair market value.

The U.S. Tax Code can be a powerful tool in alleviating poverty. However, there are few housing provisions in the tax code that benefit low-income renters. The mortgage-interest deduction helps homeowners but most of the benefits go to wealthier households. A renters' credit would help level the playing field.

Including a renters' tax credit in any new tax legislation would mean that low-income families have more to spend on food, clothing and education. It would mean healthier local economies.

Please urge U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S.  Congressman Greg Gianforte to support a renters' tax credit in any new tax legislation.

Karen Cunningham,

Coram

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