GOP eyes popular tax breaks to finance overhaul


WASHINGTON (AP) – Republicans straining to find about $1 trillion to finance sweeping tax cuts are homing in on two popular deductions that are woven into the nation’s fiscal fabric.

One is the mortgage interest deduction that millions of prize. The other is the deduction for state and local taxes popular in Democratic strongholds.

About 30 million Americans deduct mortgage interest from their income taxes, a deduction Realtors and homebuilders argue is a catalyst to home ownership in the United States.

The most recent IRS tally says nearly 44 million people claimed the deduction for state and local taxes in 2014, especially in California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Republicans are determined to overhaul the tax code after more than three decades, delivering on a top legislative priority for President Donald Trump.