Recently, we have seen a nationwide epidemic of states and local governments attempting to raise extra revenue by enacting transfer taxes. With the economy and the housing market suffering in many areas of the country, I question the wisdom of any action that would further jeopardize fragile housing markets.
My home-state association continues to take a proactive stance in this debate for many years. In 2002, the AAR passed a $60 per member assessment to fund their Issues Mobilization Fund as a hedge against legislation that hurts homeowners throughout the state. To date, Arizona REALTORS have raised $11.5 million to help protect private property owners by launching their own ballot initiative to change their State constitution and ban any enactment of a real estate transfer tax at all levels of government.
Transfer taxes cause homeowners to lose equity. Common sense would dictate that you shouldn’t tax something at the same time you are trying to make it affordable. To stem the tide of states taking up the transfer tax, more REALTOR associations might want to consider duplicating the actions taken by Arizona REALTORS. If not us, then who will else will speak out against a tax that penalizes homeownership? Think about it.