WTF? Two families buy identical houses right next to each other , both have one person making $240k/year, but in one family the spouse works part time and makes $10,001, putting that family over the limit. They will screwed by that 3.8% real estate tax. Say the houses cost $500K, the tax would be 19K or so.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. I can not believe where people dig up this bit of misinformation.
First things first. This is a Capital Gains Tax on SELLING YOUR HOUSE. It is not a tax on your income. If you never sell your house there will be no Capital Gains and therefore no TAX.
Secondly. Let's say you are married and sell your house and have zero mortgage for $500,000. You owe no Tax because the threshold is $500k for married and $250k for single.
Let's say you are married and sell your house for $1,000,000, have a $300,000 mortgage. You would compute your tax as follows: $1,000,000-$300,000=$700,000-$500,000(threshold for a married couple)=$200,000 which is subject to the tax at 3.8%=$7,600.
Hope this helps.