Working through one of the steepest real estate downturns in decades, Tampa Bay home builders are reaping more than $1 billion in government subsidies. The government allowed home building companies to write off losses against profits going back 5 years. It's known as a carry-back provision and essentially gives builders massive refunds courtesy of the taxpayer. According to Builder magazine, some of the biggest subsidies are going to Tampa Bay's dominant builders. Pulte Homes' refund of $800 million was the largest, followed by Lennar's $320 million. KB Home will collect $191 million. Ryland, Beazer and Standard Pacific will receive about $100 million apiece. Tampa Bay builders registered record low construction totals in 2009, 83 percent below 2005 peaks.