Q: With such a difficult budget situation in Louisiana, why does Louisiana REALTORS® support this constitutional amendment?

A: Consider it a preventative measure. Difficult budget situations can lead to consideration of revenue-generating measures. REALTORS® are philosophically opposed to real estate transfer taxes because they inhibit the buying and selling of real estate. No one escapes the impact - buyers, sellers, agents, brokers, related industries - of such a poor choice of taxation, and we'd like to keep Louisiana free from this kind of real estate tax.


Q: Wouldn't this amendment take away a potential revenue source for local governments, which might need all the help they can get if state revenue collections as well as their own revenue collections continue to plummet?

A: This is no time for a new real estate tax. With the housing market struggling, a real estate transfer tax would make it more costly and harder for people to buy or sell a home.

A home is often the largest asset a person has. Real estate transfer taxes place a big burden on homeowners who work hard to build up equity, only to see some of that equity go to government when they sell their property.

Real estate transfer taxes can also shut some individuals out of the market altogether. In fact, a 2010 study commissioned by Louisiana REALTORS revealed that a 1% statewide real estate transfer tax would have resulted in more than 5,000 fewer Louisiana home purchases, based on 2008 housing figures.


Q: What do other states do with regard to real estate transfer taxes?

A: Thirty-seven (37) states and the District of Columbia impose a tax on the transfer of real estate. Louisiana's real estate market is better off for not having a transfer tax, and we help ensure the health of our residential and commercial real estate markets by making sure this kind of tax is not imposed in the future.


Q: What kind of impact could real estate transfer taxes have on the overall real estate market?

A: A tax on real estate transactions would likely mean fewer transactions taking place and housing becoming less affordable. In fact, a 2010 study commissioned by Louisiana REALTORS revealed that a 1% statewide real estate transfer tax would have resulted in more than 5,000 fewer Louisiana home purchases, based on 2008 housing figures. No one escapes the impacts - buyers, sellers, real estate agents, real estate brokers as well as related industries such as banking and mortgage companies.


Q: If you are so opposed to real estate transfer taxes, why not also target the documentary transfer tax in Orleans Parish?

A: Our research revealed the Orleans Parish tax dates back to the 1950s, and it's not our intent to alter what is already on the books. It should also be noted the Constitutional Amendment does not affect existing recordation fees currently charged by the Clerk of Court offices to record mortgages and other real estate documents.

Our proposed amendment would prevent any parish, municipality or other political subdivision of the state from imposing any NEW real estate transfer tax.

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