New Jersey Realtors have sent more than 1,800 letters in a campaign to fight yet another proposed increase in the state’s realty transfer fee. Last year, too, the group protested a proposed increase in the fees, which real estate sellers pay when the deed transferring ownership is recorded. A fee increase was enacted last year, though it was 55 percent lower than the initial proposal.
“The cost of buying a home is already too confiscatory for many of New Jersey’s working families. Additional taxes will raise home sale prices and deprive more New Jerseyans of the American Dream of home ownership,” the association-prepared letter from New Jersey Realtors and addressed to New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey states.
Last year’s increase, signed into law on July 1, 2003, requires a $2 transfer fee per $500 of value for real estate that sells for $150,000 or less; a $3.35 fee per $500 in value for real estate that sells for between $150,000 and $200,000; and a $3.90 fee per $500 of value for real estate that sells for more than $200,000.
Last year’s fee increase added about $600 to the cost of transferring a home that costs $356,000. The new increase proposed this year would add another $580 in cost to the transaction, according to the New Jersey Association of Realtors. Together, the new proposal and last year’s fee hike represent a 76 percent increase in the state’s realty transfer fee in the past two years.
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