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W.Va. joins states urging more tax relief

CHARLESTON – West Virginia Friday joined 41 other states and territories in a letter urging Congress to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act through at least 2014 to continue to help financially strapped homeowners

The act provides a tax exemption to distressed homeowners who have mortgage debt canceled or forgiven on their primary residence because of financial hardship, Attorney General Morrisey said.

“This Act is important for West Virginia families who may have struggled recovering from the housing crisis,” he said.

The act Dec. 31. If not extended, distressed homeowners, even those who lose their home to foreclosure, will be forced to pay taxes as income on any mortgage debt that is canceled or forgiven by the mortgage holder, he said.

Last year, with the urging of state attorneys general, Congress extended this benefit into 2013.

States in the group are West Virginia, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

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