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Realtors pushing for pre-emptive bans on transfer taxes

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Having backed successful campaigns in at least four other states, Realtors are shelling out nearly $6 million in the hopes of banning real estate transfer taxes in Oregon through passage of a constitutional amendment that's been panned as a "carve-out" for a single industry by another business association that opposes it.There are currently no real estate transfer taxes in Oregon, except in Washington County, which imposes a 0.1 percent transfer tax, or $200 on a $200,000 home. Under current state law, no local government may impose taxes or fees upon the transfer of real estate between parties. Realtor groups argue, however, that the state Legislature has the authority to impose such taxes and fees and to change the current ban on local governments imposing transfer taxes should it have the votes to do so. Measure 79 would prohibit real estate transfer taxes at the state level as well as the local level (with the exception of the Washington County tax already in place) and w...