A victory for homeowners

To the editor:

On behalf of the New Hampshire Association of Realtors, the state’s leading advocate for homeowners, I’d like to thank state legislators for their tireless and mostly thankless efforts in working diligently to pass a budget during these difficult economic times.

Specifically, we are pleased that a majority of legislators saw fit not to include a proposal which would have expanded the real estate transfer tax to include refinancing activity.

We believe strongly that New Hampshire’s homeowners, already encumbered with the nation’s highest real estate transfer tax, pay more than their fair share of state taxes. An expansion would have exaggerated an already disproportionate burden. It was a bad idea in this budget cycle, just as it always will be.

Though it may have seemed an appealing revenue source to tax refinancing during a period when such activity is especially prevalent, we argued throughout the process that such a measure would ultimately have a crippling effect on attempts to stimulate economic recovery.

Consumers of real estate, particularly those in the at-risk segment that such a tax would have impacted, needed to be protected from such an onerous proposal, which in many cases could have prevented families from staying in their homes.

We can probably all agree that in such trying times, there was no way to craft a perfect budget plan. However, a budget with a tax targeting a sector so fundamental to economic prosperity would have been far less perfect than that which passed.

We are fortunate to have an elected body that was unwilling to put those consumers at risk.

Paul Sargeant
New Hampshire Association of Realtors

Categories: Cook on Concord