Update 7-16-2017: Real Estate Transfer Taxes per state.
Update 2-24-2016: The community of St. Helena, California is debating many options to raise revenue for road, sidewalk and park maintenance. One favorable option is a Real Estate Transfer Tax of 1% on the sale of homes. Although I agree that if roads need maintenance, local residents should be willing to pay for that maintenance. But as for the true cost of maintenance and other improvements, it may not be so clear. Please read my post on Sidewalks – do we really need them?
Update 11-20-2013: Good luck Frederick, MD, but I think you’re screwed – transfer tax will be implemented and at least the cost is shared equally between Buyer and Seller – in Georgia, it’s charged to the Buyer. Source: http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/economy_and_business/business_topics/real_estate/article_e7a50470-7b93-5776-9cff-d71079b6129c.html?mode=jqm
Update 5-22-2013: Michigan is challenging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for millions of $ in unpaid transfer taxes on foreclosures and taking their fight to the US Supreme Court. Source: http://www.freep.com/article/20130520/NEWS03/305200113/Oakland-County-vows-take-fight-real-estate-tranfer-tax-fight-Supreme-Court
I once searched the reason for Transfer Taxes in the state of Georgia and a former definition I saw on a Georgia government website was a reference that “since it is a privilege to sell property in Georgia, we’re gonna tax you.” Since then, the website has been modified.
Basically, the transfer tax (not to be confused with the Georgia Intangibles tax) is another tax – but instead of just being charged on certain real estate transactions, it’s charged anytime a real property is transferred to another owner. However, it is entirely negotiable as to who pays the answer tax and is not the responsibility of the Buyer or the Seller.
Now the Georgia Transfer Tax rate comes to a prorated $1.00 per thousand (or portion thereof) of sales price of the residential property.
I’m not sure what the transfer tax feeds in Georgia – it may be that it helps to finance Georgia’s investigations into mortgage fraud or the Department of Banking and Finance who oversees lenders, mortgage brokers, etc.,. Or if it just gets rolled into the General Fund used to pay for other unrelated things…such as golf outings or Christmas parties.
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