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