by Eric Berman - firstname.lastname@example.org - 781-839-5507
WALTHAM, Mass. – July 2, 2019 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) and its 25,000 members formally oppose S.10 An Act providing for climate change adaptation infrastructure investments in the Commonwealth. While MAR supports climate resiliency, imposing a transfer tax to fund climate resiliency programs represents a flawed approach to tax policy that will have significant negative effects on the state’s economy, its tax revenue, and current and prospective property owners and renters.
“Realtors® are for climate resiliency and praise the Governor for addressing it, but we strongly oppose paying for it by imposing a transfer tax on a small population of home buyers and sellers,” said 2019 MAR President Anne Meczywor, broker/associate at Roberts & Associates Realty Inc. in Lenox. “Our state is in a housing crisis and creating additional barriers to entry for real estate ownership will not only make the situation worse, but also won’t produce the tax revenue the Governor is hoping for.”
Transfer taxes are inherently unfair and unreliable sources of revenue. They are poor tax policy as they put the onus for paying for a community-wide need on the back of a small proportion of the community. While home prices are currently high, the real estate market is cyclical and if prices go down, so does tax revenue. The proposed bill would increase the cost of housing by imposing a transfer tax in the form of a 50 percent increase in the deeds excise tax.
MAR strongly supports H. 3941, An Act relative to GreenWorks, that was filed by House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Similar to the Governor’s bill, H. 3941 would accomplish greater outcomes through borrowing and issuing bonds. This means that all the Commonwealth’s residents would share in the cost of climate resiliency.
“Speaker DeLeo introduced a plan that is both innovative and equitable, which is the appropriate approach to address climate change,” said Meczywor. “Every resident of our state will benefit from climate resiliency, so it’s only fair that we all share in the responsibility to pay for it. The Speaker’s plan does that.”
About the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®:
Organized in 1924, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors® is a professional trade organization with more than 25,000 members. The term Realtor® is registered as the exclusive designation of members of the National Association of Realtors® who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and enjoy continuing education programs.
Editors and reporters: Please note that the term Realtor® is properly spelled with an initial capital “R”, per the Associated Press Stylebook.