Friday, March 30, 2007

Battle over transfer taxes heats up

Certain to be one of the major battles in the General Assembly this year will be the fight over giving county governments the authority to levy new types of fees and taxes to cover the rising costs of school construction and Medicaid. There are a number of bills already proposed on that topic. The “menu of options” as it is often called refers to higher sales taxes, impact fees and transfer taxes.

The NC Association of Realtors has already begun its campaign against transfer taxes, including a new website According to their polling, the public is already behind them.

-81% of North Carolinians oppose land transfer taxes
-93% of North Carolinians say that having people own homes makes for better communities
-79% of North Carolinians agree that any increase in taxes on homes will hurt working families

Based on a statewide poll of 750 North Carolina likely voters with a margin of error of +/-3.6%, with a 95% confidence level. The survey was conducted by the Kitchens Group, LLC.

I don’t doubt the validity of theses poll results. People do not like taxes. But I am interested to see how they described transfer taxes. I would bet the issue of a transfer tax was not described as an alternative to higher sales or property taxes, which is the reality of the situation for many counties.

I also know that North Carolinians are very much in favor of impact fees. 69% according to the latest OnPoint Polling survey.

PPP will definitely be doing some its own polling on this subject in the coming weeks.

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