California might extend new home tax credit

A popular state tax credit of up to $10,000 that helped sell hundreds of new houses throughout the Sacramento region earlier this year appears to be coming back.

A plan to extend the state tax credit to another 4,285 buyers of new, unoccupied homes in California — possibly as many as 500 in the capital area — is expected to receive a vote in the Legislature by Friday's end of the session.

The buyer tax credit began March 1 and unexpectedly sold out by July 2 as many first-time California buyers combined the state credit with an $8,000 federal tax credit.

Statewide, Roseville ranked eighth among cities where new house buyers received the state credit. Sacramento ranked ninth, the state Franchise Tax Board reported.

"It was used very extensively," said Dennis Rogers, a government affairs executive with the Roseville-based North State Building Industry Association. He and others in Sacramento's struggling building industry said the credit helped prod buyers off the fence before it ended in July.

"We've definitely seen a lot of interest from homebuyers coming into the sales environment because of the program," said Pulte Homes spokeswoman Jacque Petroulakis. Pulte is the capital region's largest home builder.

The original tax credit also helped area builders clear an excess inventory of homes finished or nearly finished, but not yet sold.

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