Senator Harris Introduces Renters Tax Credit Legislation

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) recently introduced the “Rent Relief Act.” Under Harris’ Rent Relief Act, a refundable tax credit would be available to individuals who live in rental housing and pay more than 30 percent of their gross income for the taxable year on their rent including utilities. Eligible individuals would qualify for the tax benefit by determining the total amount spent yearly on rent, taking into account the family’s annual income, and a rate of the federal government’s established fair market rent controls.

Individuals who live in government-subsidized rental housing could claim the value of one month’s rent as a refundable tax credit. Subsidized rent is normally capped at 30 percent of a person’s income, making him or her eligible for the tax benefit for rent-burdened residents. The Rent Relief Act would give much-needed relief to lower income residents.

The Rent Relief Act is supported by: the National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Fair Housing of California, and the National Housing Law Project.