Last week, Governor Christie while at a Town Hall meeting in Franklin Township was questioned about the Realty Transfer Fee. He “responded by saying he would abolish the fees if the state Legislature sent him such a bill.”
“A realty transfer fee? From my perspective, it makes no sense,” the Republican governor said at a town hall meeting in the Somerset section of Franklin Township. “It’s awful. It should be done away with.”
“When you sell your home in New Jersey, you’re getting whacked by this arbitrary tax, and that’s wrong. This initiative will help struggling homeowners, including those who might be facing short sales or foreclosures. It will save property owners across this state a burden of thousands of dollars, which particularly hurts those who have lost equity in their homes due to the economic recession.”
Of course, the fees are the seventh-largest source of tax revenue for the state. Officials have projected that they will produce $287 million in the current state budget and $325 million in next year’s spending plan.
The Realty Transfer Fee pays for numerous important programs including:
A portion remains with the county that collects the fee for the County Public Health Priority Fund and pays for the funding of public health services.
A portion goes in the General Fund of the State.
Another portion goes into the New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund a non-lapsing revolving fund that subsidizes the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing, with funds targeted to each region of the State based on that region’s percentage of the State’s low and moderate income housing need. This funding also supports the Council on Affordable Housing, affordable housing administration, shelter assistance, the Prevention of Homelessness Program, and the State Rental Assistance Program. NJ’s share to get federal HOME funds.
$25 million goes toward the state’s dune and beach replenishment program, with the federal government providing another $75 million.
If the Realty Transfer Fee is repealed all of this funding will be lost. For the 4,018 families including 812 units that are project based. These families would immediately become homeless.
What can you do to help stop this repeal?
The Star-Ledger has an online poll. Currently 71% of the respondents agree with the Governor. Respond to the poll and ask colleagues, friends and family to do the same.
Contact your state senator or assembly member and let them know that the Realty Fee should not be repealed. Click here to find you legislators and how to contact them.