Monday, May 7, 2012

Fight to STOP the County's 20% Recordation Tax INCREASE!

President's Letter

County Budget; Hard on Real Estate

Join us this Monday at 7 pm
Fight to STOP the County's 20% Recordation Tax INCREASE!

Please make every attempt to attend the Prince George's County Council Budget Hearing.
By showing up in force, we send the message that PGCAR Members care about
home ownership and will stand together to oppose this increase!

Prince George's County
Fiscal Year 2013
Budget Hearing

Monday, May 7 at 7 pm
County Administration Building
1st Floor Hearing Room
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Contact County Executive
Rushern Baker and
Your County Council

Recently, County Executive Rushern Baker released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2013. We applaud Mr. Baker's commitment to education and public safety; however, as a representative of the trade association representing over 2,500 Prince George's County real estate professionals - and the only voice for the homeowners they serve - we, as REALTORS®, have grave concerns about this budget's negative effect on housing.

The FY 2013 County Budget proposes a 20% increase in the County property transfer recordation fee, raising it $1.00 per $1,000 in home sale price. That's an additional $300 in closing costs on a $300,000 home purchase.

Upfront buyer closing costs - including recordation fees, transfer taxes, property taxes, down payments and lender fees - are the largest impediment to homeownership. Much to our dismay, Prince George's leads the Maryland DC Metro area in closing costs. In a statewide comparison, Prince George's ranks 3rd in closing cost expense; higher than 21 other Maryland Counties. Additionally, at 1.4% of the closing price, Prince George's ranks 1st in the Maryland DC Metro area in transfer tax burden.

For another "first," Prince George's leads the Maryland DC Metro area in property taxes; besting our neighboring jurisdictions Montgomery County and Calvert County by approximately 30% and 32%, respectively. Another disheartening point is that our citizen homeowners disproportionately fund this budget through real estate taxes that provide over 70% of County tax revenue.

Alease Bowles
2012 PGCAR President
Homebuyers are already struggling to get the necessary capital together to buy homes. This increase lessens their ability to purchase. For sellers, it lessens the pool of ready, willing and able buyers seeking to enter the marketplace.

Unfortunately, the County is experiencing a very challenging housing market. Prince George's single family property settlements are down 4.1% compared to March 2011; condominium settlements are down 5.7% compared to March 2011. Property values are at extreme lows compared to prior years, and foreclosures and short sales dominate the market. Real estate traditionally leads the economy out of recession and we are poised to do that again as our market stabilizes. Increasing housing costs, however, is counterproductive to rebuilding our local economy and a barrier to stabilizing our local real estate market.

We urge County Executive Baker to rethink this unwise proposal. We call on all County residents to contact your elected Council member to express your concerns on this matter.


Alease Bowles
President, Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®, Inc.

PGCAR leadership, over 160 members, and our PGCAR and MAR Government Affairs Directors have already either met with, emailed and/or called our Council members, urging them to oppose this increase in Prince George's County recordation fee. 

Please get involved. Attend the Budget Hearing this Monday, May 7
and CLICK HERE  to email your County Executive and Council Members today!

 Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
9200 Basil Court  :  Suite 400 : Largo MD 20774
Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2012 PGCAR