The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® is asking the public to call their Member of Congress directly and urge them to preserve the mortgage interest deduction (MID).

Congress, as part of negotiations on avoiding the “fiscal cliff,” has made direct references to “closing loopholes” and “limiting deductions” as a way to raise revenues. Clearly, the MID is high on this list of revenue raisers. Losing the MID will disproportionately affect the middle class because a larger proportion of the middle class takes the deduction.

The MID benefits primarily middle- and lower-income families. According to the IRS, more than 70 percent of the mortgage interest payments claimed as deductions is on returns filed by people with incomes between $60,000 to $200,000. Only about 1.4 percent of the total is claimed by taxpayers earning $1 million or more.

In California, 89 percent of those who took the MID earned less than $200,000. Losing the deduction would cost the average California taxpayer over $3,900.

Congress may decide to reduce or limit the MID at any time, which is why it is vital that you call your Member of Congress TODAY and ask that they preserve the mortgage interest deduction. Limiting the MID impacts ALL homeowners, not just those who take the deduction, by decreasing the value of all housing. The MID facilitates homeownership by reducing the carrying costs of owning a home. This makes a real difference to hardworking families. Homeowners already pay 80 to 90 percent of U.S. federal income tax, and this share could rise to 95 percent if the MID is eliminated.

REALTORS® urge all homeowners, including family, friends, colleagues and clients to get involved by calling Congress and ask that the MID be preserved. The public may reach Congress by calling 202-224-3121 Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Eastern time. The Capitol switchboard operator will help callers identify their member of Congress and connect them.