Morning Brief: Stimulus Hits D.C. Home Buyers

One part of the stimulus bill may end up have some big local repercussions for local homebuyers.

A tax credit designed to jump-start the housing market may, tucked into the Senate version of the stimulus bill under debate in Congress, may end up short-changing those who are looking to buy their first home in the District.

The measure would provide a credit of up to $15,000 to buyers who are purchasing a primary residence. But first-time buyers in the District who can tap into the long-existing $5,000 tax credit for purchases in the city appear to be shut out of the deal.

In Virginia news, the Virginia House of Delegates approved a plan for a ban on smoking covering most of the state's restaurants and many of its bars on Monday.

The state has repeatedly resisted efforts to curtail smoking in public places, even as health concerns over secondhand smoke prompted 23 other states and the District to start enacting prohibitions.

The vote Monday makes it likely that a ban in some form will become law.

In Prince William County, small-business owners are calling on lawmakers to rescind a controversial immigration measure that has required company owners to prove they are living in the country legally.

About 4,000 small-business owners recently received notices about the new requirement telling them they have until March 1 to provide proof that they are legal residents in order to get their business licenses renewed.

And in other news, the Washington region's hotels raked in $94.8 million over the four-day period surrounding President Obama's inauguration, a haul that was boosted by guests who paid an average $605 a night Jan. 20 to stay in the city.

By Alejandro Lazo  |  February 10, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Real Estate
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