REALTORS® voice opposition to proposed state sales tax on services

By Kim Shindle | March 24, 2010 | 2 min. read

Nearly 100 Pennsylvania REALTORS® resoundingly told state lawmakers that they are against the proposed tax on professional services, including taxes on REALTOR® fees.

PAR President Don Roth speaking in the Capitol Rotunda. Photo credit: Stuart Leask

“This proposed tax on professional services would not only affect consumers and REALTORS® but every profession and service included in the real estate transaction,” said Don Roth, president of the PA Association of REALTORS®. Roth spoke during a press conference held in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Ed Rendell’s 2010-2011 proposed budget would reduce the state sales tax to 4 percent but expand it to include REALTOR® fees and 73 other currently exempted items. If enacted, Pennsylvania consumers would have to spend thousands of dollars more to purchase a home since a four-percent tax would also be levied on appraisals, attorney services, credit reports, mortgage originations, home inspections, surveys, title searches, construction, architectural services and site preparation.

Joel Searby, vice president of Strategic Guidance Systems (SGS) of Florida, said the results of a statewide survey conducted revealed that an overwhelming majority of likely voters – 70 percent of those surveyed – oppose the proposed tax on professional services involved in the home-buying and –selling process.

PAR members walking up the Capitol steps. Photo credit: Stuart Leask

Fifty percent of those polled disapproved of Gov. Rendell’s proposed 2010-2011 state budget.

Searby said the survey revealed that the proposed budget would be a voting issue in 2010. “When respondents were asked how they would vote if they knew their legislator supported the budget, more than 50 percent said they would be voting for someone new,” Searby added.

Many of the REALTORS® followed the press conference with visits to their legislators, reinforcing the message that the tax on professional services will further hurt the housing recovery in Pennsylvania.

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