In response to legislation introduced Monday in the state Assembly that raises the state’s realty transfer fee, the New Jersey Association of Realtors launched another letter writing campaign opposing the legislation. A3115-Cryan raises the realty transfer fee on home sales above $350,000. The seller of a home priced at $349,000 will not see an increase over the current transfer fee. The seller of a home priced at $375,000 will pay 29 percent more than what they would pay under the current fee structure.

“New Jersey has witnessed strong home-price appreciation in the past year. As such, more and more homes will be subject to the higher transfer tax rate than ever before and unfortunately it will make it harder for working families to afford a home in New Jersey,” said NJAR President Charles Oppler.

NJAR has been fighting an increase in the realty transfer fee since Gov. McGreevey proposed the increase in his FY 2005 budget. Since the budget was proposed in February, Realtors have sent 5,200 letters to Gov. McGreevey and to members of the state legislature opposing the increase. NJAR Vice President of Government Affairs Jarrod Grasso testified before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Friday to voice Realtors’ concerns that these increase will have an adverse effect on the housing market.

“The state legislature has not heeded our warnings,” Grasso said. “This increase in the realty transfer fee will have a tremendous impact on the sale of homes over $350,000. The legislature has taken advantage of the strong real estate market and increased this fee for the second year in a row. When you factor in last year’s increase, the transfer fee on a home sold for $375,000 goes up 80 percent in less than two years.”

A3115-Cryan also imposes a new 1 percent fee on the sale of homes over $1 million. This fee would be paid by the buyer and would apply to both new and existing homes.

The New Jersey Association of Realtors is a non-profit organization serving the professional needs of approximately 45,000 Realtor and Realtor-Associate members in the state.

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