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Hamilton/Wenham Meeting to Discuss Transfer Taxes

12.11.07

The Government Affairs Committee just learned that there will be a meeting tonight, Tuesday, December 11th at 7:30 p.m, at the Buker Multipurpose Room, where Hamilton and Wenham Boards of Selectmen and representatives from the Finance Committees for each town will meet with community members to discuss, amongst other items, a new potential real estate transfer tax. Realtors® oppose real estate transfer taxes as bad tax policy for the following reasons:
  1. A community wide responsibility should be paid for by the entire community. Property taxes are inequitable and discriminatory as it would single out a small segment of the population, specifically home buyers and sellers, to pay for a community wide need.
  2. Transfer taxes are exclusionary because it would increase the cost of home ownership and in effect create an additional barrier to entry for an already expensive part of the state. Further, the real estate market is highly sensitive to economic downtowns; therefore this tax would provide an unstable source of revenue.
  3. The tax would subvert the voter approval process inherent in a Proposition 2½ override, in which voters can decide for themselves whether to increase their own property taxes.
  4. The Legislature has already given all cities and towns many equitable tools to create affordable and workforce housing through passage of the Community Preservation Act, Chapter 40R, Chapter 40S and Chapter 40B. These tools are available for all communities to use.
You can find other Realtor® talking points from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors® website by clicking here. NSAR highly encourages all Realtors® who live or work in Hamilton and Wenham to attend this meeting and voice your opposition to real estate transfer taxes.

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