REALTOR® ACTION CENTER
It is critical for REALTORS® to speak with one voice about the stability that the real estate market brings to our communities. From city hall to the state house to the U.S. Capitol, elected officials make decisions that have an impact on the bottom line of REALTORS® and their customers. The REALTOR® Action Center is where you learn how Voting, Acting and Investing in RPAC builds our political strength at every level of government.
CURRENT CALL TO ACTIONTAKE ACTION NOW
|HB 35 County Option Real Estate Transfer Tax will be voted on for introduction in the 2022 Budget Session within the first few days of the session. Since it is a budget session, the bill will require a 2/3rds majority vote for introduction. It is imperative that we get our message to the legislators early and often. As bills become introduced, their email accounts will be bombarded with messages, so we need to get our message to them immediately. TAKE ACTION NOW!
The bill would allow counties to vote to impose a 1% real estate transfer tax. This is a sales tax on real estate. The bill currently exempts agricultural land and industrial properties. It would be imposed on residential and commercial property.
This bill has always been associated with Teton County. However, at the Revenue Committee hearing, the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce Executive Director spoke in favor of the bill, indicating that it could be a great tool for many counties. This position has always been one of our major concerns. Once the ability to impose it is in place, it will spread like wildfire.
Real estate transfer taxes are discriminatory because they are assessed against one type of asset – real estate – while similar taxes are rarely applied to financial assets, such as stocks and bonds. Increased closing costs on the transfer of existing residential property are likely to reduce the ability of new and current homebuyers to purchase a home.
Transfer taxes are regressive and discriminatory. A tax is regressive when its burden relative to income is greater on lower income people compared to higher income people. The property transfer tax clearly falls in the regressive category because people tend to spend a decreasing share of their total income on housing as income increases. This tax would be assessed as a uniform percentage of the value of the real property.
The tax is inequitable. A household that moves frequently, for whatever reason, does not derive additional benefits or place additional burdens on public services (except for minimal administrative costs) as compared to someone who does not move at all. This violates the principle of horizontal equity, which holds that people who are equal should pay similar taxes.
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