Letters to the Editor: How capital gains taxes keep baby boomers from selling their homes

A home for sale in Andover, Mass.
(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

To the editor: As a baby boomer, I enjoyed the op-ed article questioning whether my generation is ruining the housing market. However, a key element was left out.

A lot of us boomers purchased our homes many years ago — in my case, 43 years ago. I would be faced with a huge capital gains tax if I sold.

In 1997, the federal law was changed to allow a seller to exempt $250,000 of profit for a single person and $500,000 for a married couple. This exemption amount has never been raised since then. In contrast, in 1997 the estate tax exemption was $600,000, and now it is $11 million.

If Congress raised the capital gains exemption, more homes would probably be put up for sale, giving first-time buyers a better chance of entering the market.


Ed Kass, Mar Vista