There Is No Real Estate Sales Tax In Obamacare

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

All together now:

There is no national real estate sales tax.


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If emails falsely claiming a 3.8 percent real estate sales tax is part of Obamacare were raindrops there would have been no drought in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and the United States of America. But the Internet has been flooded with those falsehoods. We've been swimming in them.

No need to build an ark to escape those flooding emails, however, and if you live in an ark and sell it, don't expect to pay a real estate sales tax.

There is no such thing as a 3.8 percent sales tax when you sell your home.

The truth is that the health care reform act, or Obamacare, does have a new 3.8 percent capital gains tax on specified capital gains derived from the sale of a small percentage of homes-if there is a huge profit-owned and sold by a small percentage of people. Two percent of Americans, in fact. And that new capital gains tax will be dedicated to support Medicare, which is very much worth supporting.

It is true that 98 percent of Americans will not be affected because 98 percent of taxpayers earn less than $250,000 as a married couple or $200,000 as individuals.

Individuals making more than $200,000 a year in adjusted gross income, and couples jointly earning more than $250,000 a year, may be affected. Maybe. If they own and sell a home for a huge profit.

How huge?

The first $500,000 in capital gains is exempted by Obamacare if you are a married couple.

As a couple, you could make a profit of half a million dollars selling your home, earn one quarter of a million dollars in wages during that year, and not pay a dime.

So, yes, few people will be affected and those who are affected, it is fair to say, can afford it.

Any profit over the exempted $500,000 for couples and $250,000 for individuals would be subject to a 3.8 percent capital gains tax. Make $600,000 in profit as a couple selling your home and the 3.8 percent capital gains assessment is levied on $100,000, so that couple who earns a quarter of a million dollars a year and makes a $600,000 profit on the sale of their home would pay $3,800 in capital gains tax dedicated to Medicare.

Virtually every American would love to be in the financial position which found them having to pay this capital gains tax because it would mean that, financially, their life should be worry-free. As Tevye observes in Fiddler On The Roof: “If money is a curse, may the good Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover.”

Approximately 98 percent of Americans are not so cursed with wealth that Obamacare will force them to pay a penny when they sell their home.

Here's an example:

You and your wife earn $250,000 a year. You live in a house that you bought for $1 million and sell it for $1.5 million. The Obamacare legislation doesn't make you pay a penny on the sale of your home and your $500,000 profit.

Here's another example:

An individual with an income of $200,000 could live in a $250,000 home, sell that home for half a million dollars, making a $250,000 profit, and not pay one penny in tax because of Obamacare.

But let's look at the value of homes in Prince Edward County that have a mortgage and consider the local impact. According to the U.S. Census:

4.4 percent of owner-occupied housing units are valued at less than $50,000.

17.2 percent are valued at $50,000 to $99,000.

19.8 percent are valued at $100,000 to $149,000.

17.3 percent are valued at $150,000 to $199,000.

31.3 percent are valued at $200,000 to $299,000.

9.5 percent are valued at $300,000 to $499,000.

0.7 percent are valued at $500,000 or more.

That means that 89.8 percent of the homes in Prince Edward County could be sold for at least way more than two times what a married couple paid for them without those owners, who could earn $250,000 a year, paying a cent as part of Obamacare. More than half of the homes could be sold for at least three times what a married couple paid for them, without paying a penny.

More than the remaining nine percent could sell their homes for at least twice what they paid for them without paying a cent.

And even the remaining 0.7 percent of homeowners, who own homes worth more than $500,000, could still make a profit of half a million dollars, as a couple, selling their home without paying a cent.

The median value of homes in Prince Edward County is $171,000. A home bought by a couple, with an income of $250,000, for $171,000 could be sold for $671,000, which is more than three times what their owners paid for them, without paying a cent as part of Obamacare's investment in Medicare.

Individuals earning $200,000 could sell such a home for $421,000, more than twice what they paid for it, without paying a penny.

Homeowners in Buckingham and Cumberland-married couples and individuals-will be similarly unaffected when the law takes effect in January.

There is no national real estate sales tax.

Anyone who says otherwise is not telling the truth.