The NYT seems confused on how the new lower limit on mortgage interest deduction in the Republican tax bill would work. It told readers:

"The bill does retain significant subsidies, allowing home buyers to deduct interest on mortgages as high as $750,000."

In fact, the bill allows homeowners to deduct interest on $750,000 of principal, regardless of the size of the mortgage. While the phrasing in the NYT piece might have led someone to believe that they could not deduct any interest on an $800,000 mortgage, in fact, they would be able to deduct almost all of their interest.

If a homeowner was paying 4.0 percent interest on an $800,000 mortgage, they would be able to deduct the interest on $750,000, or $30,000, from their taxable income. They would only lose out on the opportunity to deduct the $2,000 in interest on the $50,000 in principal above $750,000. Furthermore, after four or five years, when they had paid some of the principal, this homeowner would again be able to deduct the full amount of interest paid on their mortgage.

This distinction is important since the reduction in the cap on mortgage principal eligible for the interest deduction (from $1,000,000 to $750,000) is likely to have a very limited impact on the housing market. The doubling of the standard deduction and the cap on deductions for state and local income and property taxes are likely to be far more important.


Note: Typo corrected, thanks Raleedy.