Tax Policy and the Heterogeneous

Costs of Homeownership

Authors: Kelly C. Bishop, Jakob Dowling, Nicolai V. Kuminoff, and Alvin Murphy

Abstract: The real economic cost of homeownership depends on an intricate system of taxes and subsides that vary over time and across the United States. We incorporate the key features of this system into a novel framework for measuring the annual user-cost of housing and we use it to document how housing costs and subsidies varied over time, across space, and with household demographics in 2016-2017. Then we examine how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 subsequently reduced subsidies and increased the relative cost of housing. We report how these changes varied by geography, homeownership, race, and voting behavior.