WASHINGTON (11/02/09)--Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) have collaborated to extend access to first-time homebuyer tax credits that were set to expire at the end of the month. “Every economist will tell you we have to steady the housing market before the economy will turn around,” Dodd said in a statement, adding that “we can’t afford to let this tax credit expire now.” “We need to be fighting with everything we’ve got.” According to the release, the agreement extends the $8,000 first time Homebuyers Tax Credit and also creates a new $6,500 tax credit for homeowners that purchase a new home between December 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010. The tax credit will be made available to single homebuyers with up to $125,000 in income and joint income tax filers with up to $225,000 in total income, but will not be available for home purchases totaling more than $800,000. The agreement also extends the tax credit to individuals that are in the market for a new home but have owned their current home for five years or longer. Over 70% of existing homeowners will be eligible for the tax credit, according to the statement. The tax credit extension legislation will be attached to an unemployment insurance extension bill that will come up for a Senate vote this week.