02 January 2009

Gov. Huntsman Changing His Mind On Utah Real Estate?

Those of you in Utah will be aware of our year after year fight to keep the State from imposing a "tax on services". We've been successful every year thanks to our friends in the Legislature and the Governor himself.

 It would appear that the Guv has changed his mind (http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_11347232).

His idea is to get rid of the state sales tax on food and replace it with a tax on every transaction by every person in the State that carries a state license.

That means every home sold will carry a tax on  Realtors,  appraisers, the inspectors, the lenders, the Title Company...you get my point.

Don't even get me started on how many licenced craftsmen are involved in building and selling a new home!

Throw in everyone in the state that has their taxes done, goes to a doctor, gets their hair cut, the list is endless.

 There is talk of keeping medical services out of the equation, but that might even be worse, as they will have to make the  tax rates on the rest of us higher to make up the shortfall.

 I've heard rates of anywhere from 1-3% of sales price. In Tooele County that would equate to an additional $2000 (or more) that would have to be absorbed somewhere. I don't know which (if any of us) can handle that kind of a number without passing it on to our clients. In a time where our sellers can't always understand why they need to use us, try explaining this tax on top of the other fees!

In this age of affordability issues in the housing market, additional taxation is the last thing we need. As Utah Association of Realtors President, I've been very concerned about our RPAC fundraising for 2009. 

The Guv may have just made that job easier. If we can't get our members fired up to defend Utah Real Estate over this, I'm not sure what it will take!

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