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Big difference between Section 8 voucher and homeowner tax deductions

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announces plans to introduce legislation that will make housing discrimination illegal. Standing behind him are, from left, Councilman Izzy Patoka, Marsha Parham-Green, Executive Director of the Baltimore County Office of Housing, Councilman Julian Jones and Sharonda Ellerby, a former Section 8 recipient who is now a business owner. The event is outside the Historic Courthouse on October 4, 2019.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announces plans to introduce legislation that will make housing discrimination illegal. Standing behind him are, from left, Councilman Izzy Patoka, Marsha Parham-Green, Executive Director of the Baltimore County Office of Housing, Councilman Julian Jones and Sharonda Ellerby, a former Section 8 recipient who is now a business owner. The event is outside the Historic Courthouse on October 4, 2019. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

A recent commentary by a teacher attempted to equate homeowner tax deductions to Section 8 voucher subsidies (“Home owners are subsidized, so why do we stigmatize renters with vouchers?” Oct. 15). Obviously, the writer missed the class on Economics 101.

It’s important to remember that the only money the government has is tax dollars from hardworking Americans. Homeowner tax deductions are a mechanism to encourage home ownership. It allows homeowners to keep a little bit more of their already heavily taxed income to pay their mortgage.

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The point is that it is their money, not the government’s. The construction industry prospers along with many ancillary businesses when people buy homes. This enhanced economic activity results in even more taxes for the government. A won-win for all.

Housing subsidies, on the other hand, are subsidies paid by taxpayers to cover all or part of a person’s rent. That is the difference and it is a big one.

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David Mitchell, Sparrows Point

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