Revised Stimulus Bill Faces Vote

The price tag of the reworked stimulus bill is $789 billion. It could pass the House and Senate before the weekend and be ready for President Obama to sign by next week.

The stimulus bill was finalized on Wednesday after last-minute wrangling on details. Some of the details that are expected to be in the final bill:

A homeowner tax credit significantly reduced from the Senate version of $15,000.
A tax credit, reduced from the Senate version, for people who buy cars in 2009.
Funds to patch the alternative minimum tax, originally intended to target the wealthy but now hitting many middle-class families.
$90 billion of increased Medicaid match to states.
$150 billion for infrastructure, with $49.6 billion tagged for transportation infrastructure.

Tax breaks for workers that had been set at $1,000 per family or $500 per individual would be scaled back to $800 per family and $400 per individual. The bill breaks down to 35 percent tax cuts, 65 percent spending.

House Prices at 30-year Low

The National Association of Realtors reports that home prices dropped a record 12.4% in 2008 -- the biggest annual drop since the association started recording this information in 1979.

The group reports the median price for a U.S. home sold during the fourth quarter of 2008 fell to $180,100, down from $205,700 during the last quarter of 2007.

The real estate market has been filled with distressed properties, foreclosures and short sales in the past year, which accounted for 45 percent of all sales. The sales volume in Nevada and California and other hard hit states with high foreclosed properties for sales. This flood of foreclosed, discounted properties pushed median prices down.

The largest group of metro areas, 134 out of 153, saw prices decline compared with the last quarter of 2007. Some, like Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Fla., had prices falling 50.8 percent for the year, to $110,900 from $225,300. Following close was Saginaw, Mich., where prices fell 41.4 percent; Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., prices plunged 40.8 percent; and San Jose, Calif., prices dropped 37.7 percent.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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