Industry News

Realtors, builders clash over real estate tax proposal

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A proposal to raise the tax on real estate sales in the state of Washington as an alternative to fees on new construction has been postponed after a clash between builders and Realtors. The Washington Association of Realtors had launched a major advertising campaign in an effort to kill the proposal, saying a higher tax would slash homeowners' equity in house sales and potentially price more people out of the real estate market. Bryan Wahl, director of government affairs for the Washington Association of Realtors, said that the legislative proposal, if passed, would have "a tremendous impact on housing sales" in the state, and according to one analysis could potentially price 19,000 people out of the Washington housing market. "This is basically taking $300 million of homeowners' equity out of circulation." Meanwhile, the Building Industry Association of Washington backed the legislative proposal as an alternative to impact fees that local municipalities charge for newly constructed ...