REALTORS® challenge local RTT increase

By Kim Shindle | Feb. 9, 2010 | 2 min. read

REALTORS® in the suburban Philadelphia area are fighting a proposed realty transfer tax (RTT) hike in Delaware County’s Upper Providence Township, an increase that would make it the highest local RTT in a four-county region.200318038-001

“This tax increase is really going to set the township apart from other communities – and not in a good way,” said Jamie Ridge, president/chief executive officer of the Suburban REALTORS® Alliance. “Why would any homebuyer want to go to this municipality and pay an average of $2,000 more in closing costs? It doesn’t make sense.”

Like many commonwealth municipalities, Upper Providence is facing a revenue shortage, Ridge said. But unlike the vast majority of other municipalities in the state, the township is proposing a two percent local transfer tax to fill the gap.

“Upper Providence sees this as a short-term fix but we believe it will be a long-term drag on local real estate values and the economy,” Ridge said.  “The township already raised the RTT by half a percent in 2003 and now they’re proposing to raise it another half percent.”

Most municipalities are limited to a one percent local RTT, split between the municipality and the school district. Ridge explained that because Upper Providence is a home-rule municipality, it does not face the same revenue constraints.

“SRA has found that 77 percent of voters in the township are adamantly opposed to the increase,” Ridge added. “We’ve been reaching out to families who expressed concerns and we’re urging them to attend the meeting to let the consumer voice be heard.”

Calls-to-action have been sent to the hundreds of REALTORS® who either live or conduct business in Upper Providence Township and REALTORS® are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The issue comes to a vote on Thursday at the township council meeting at 7:30 p.m. in Media.

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