Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Angie Drobnic Holan
By Angie Drobnic Holan August 8, 2008

Only the wealthy make big profits.

In a Spanish-language radio ad, John McCain makes the case that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class.

Translated into English, the ad asks, "Are you ready for the higher taxes on income, savings and the sale of your home that Barack Obama promises?"

We checked out some of the ad's other claims in a story we wrote . Here, we'll look at the claim that Obama wants to raise taxes on home sales.

We've seen this claim before in anonymous chain e-mails that attack Obama's tax policies. We ruled those claims false.

There's only one scenario in Obama's tax plan that we can find in which taxes on home sales would go up. You would have to be a wealthy person, making more than $200,000 if you're single and $250,000 as a couple, and you would have to make a substantial profit on your home -- more than $250,000 in profit.

Featured Fact-check

Here's how it would work. Obama proposes to increase the capital gains tax on upper incomes. There are exemptions to the capital gains tax, however, and one of the best-known exemptions is on home sales. In general, if you own your home and sell it for a profit, you are not taxed on the first $250,000 of profit if you are single, or on the first $500,000 of profit if you are a married couple. Neither McCain nor Obama have proposed changing this exemption.

Most home sales under Obama's plan would also be taxed at 0 percent, unless, as we explained, profits on the home sale are more than $250,000 for a single person or $500,000 for couples.

To present this detail of Obama's plan as wholesale tax increase on home sales is deceptive. Obama promises no such thing. We rule this statement Barely True.

Editor's note: This statement was rated Barely True when it was published. On July 27, 2011, we changed the name for the rating to Mostly False.

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Angie Drobnic Holan

Only the wealthy make big profits.

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up