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Facts about the proposed real estate tax increase in Washington State

*The state legislature could consider an increase in the Real Estate Excise Tax (a sales tax collected on the sale of every home) to raise revenue to fill a huge $3.2 billion state budget shortfall. Currently, the state collects 1.28% and local government collects .5% from every sale of property. Previously, the legislature has considered a local real estate tax increase that added another .65% to the sale of property.

That type of Tax Increase would take a big chunk of money out of your pocket.
  • A new tax increase of .65% would be a 130% increase over the current local real estate tax, costing the average homeowner in the state over $1657 when they sell their home.
  • This "pick pocket" tax robs the home equity from unsuspecting homeowners when they sell their home. It would mean that many homeowners could face as much as a 24.3% tax on the equity of their property when they sell it.
  • Click here to see several examples of the impact on communities.
Real estate excise taxes are just another form of tax on your property.
  • Real estate taxes are just another tax on your property that penalizes people for buying and selling their home.
  • Real estate taxes double-tax property owners who have paid property taxes each year and then must pay thousands of dollars more when selling their home.
  • Washington's real estate excise tax is already one of the highest in the nation. It is just another form of property tax on homes, but it does not target everyone equally.
Real estate taxes hurt homeownership.
  • Real estate taxes are a dream-breaker, shutting thousands of potential homebuyers out of the market.
  • Increasing real estate taxes mean families could face higher closing costs and need even more income to qualify for a home loan.
  • Already, our homeownership rate is 40th in the nation. Increasing real estate taxes worsens the shortage of affordable homes as these taxes will inevitably be passed on to home buyers through higher priced homes. This could have a devastating effect on first time homebuyers, middle class families, senior citizens and those on fixed incomes, especially now while our economy falters.
  • Real estate taxes increase closing costs and money needed for a down payment. According to the National Center for Real Estate Research, that means more than 19,000 people in Washington would get priced out of the housing market. Real estate excise taxes are dream breakers for our own children and grandchildren who will be the ones most hurt by this tax increase as they are unable to find affordable homes.
  • This "misery" tax unfairly and unnecessarily keeps families out of housing, and makes it even more difficult for first-time homebuyers, middle class families, and senior citizens to buy a home.
  • Experts say that a healthy housing market is critical to our economic recovery.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions
about the proposed real estate tax increase.

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