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Transfer Tax

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BUSINESS
June 1, 1987 | By MARC MELTZER, Daily News Staff Writer
Although it got little notice when it sailed through the City Council last week, a new ordinance expected to raise $4 million to $5 million in tax revenue should get plenty of attention in the months ahead. "Once people realize that they're starting to pay the tax, they will be very surprised and disappointed," said Harris Ominsky, real estate partner at the law firm of Blank, Rome, Comisky & McCauley, who testified before a committee on the measure. The ordinance, passed the same day the Council approved the city's fiscal 1988 budget of $1.85 billion among considerably more hoopla, represents further tinkering with the real estate transfer tax. The transfer tax, which now has been revised three years in a row by city and state government, already is among the highest in the country, according to Ominsky.
NEWS
July 28, 1986 | By Michele Riedel, Special to The Inquirer
Jenkintown officials say that the borough missed out on collecting thousands of dollars in tax revenue when commercial properties changed hands through the use of industrial development authorities. In such transactions, buyers and sellers do not pay real estate transfer taxes, which normally are paid to the locality and the state when ownership changes. The local tax represents 1 percent of the property's selling price. In addition, the Jenkintown officials are concerned because a recent change in state law could mean that they will continue to lose out. "The legislation permits a property to change hands time and time again without anybody paying any transfer tax," said borough manager William Richardson.
NEWS
July 1, 1988 | By Thomas Turcol and Vernon Loeb, Inquirer Staff Writers
A Common Pleas Court judge yesterday invalidated the city's planned 62 percent increase in the real estate transfer tax, but city officials quickly countered with an appeal that allowed them to begin collecting the new tax pending a state court ruling. The flurry of last-minute legal skirmishes began when Judge Murray C. Goldman struck down, on procedural grounds, the controversial tax increase, which is designed to raise $33 million in new revenue next year. Upholding a legal challenge by consumer activist Max Weiner, Goldman ruled that City Council violated the City Charter by concealing the actual amount of the tax increase until after a public hearing.
BUSINESS
June 21, 1988 | The Inquirer Staff
The city's Records Department will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 30 to accommodate the expected rush of last-minute filers trying to beat the increase in the real estate transfer tax on July 1, officials said yesterday. The city's portion of the tax on real estate sales will go from 2.5 percent to 4.07 percent. The state assesses an additional 1 percent tax. People who go to the Records Department by the end of the day June 30 or who mail their documents with a postmark of June 30 or earlier will have their transactions processed at the 2.5 percent rate.
NEWS
May 25, 1988 | By GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer
City Council's approval of what one broker called "the highest real estate transfer tax in the world" will kill many commercial deals and send homebuyers to the suburbs, experts said. City Council today approved a budget package that included an increase in the city transfer tax from 2.5 percent to 4 percent. Coupled with the 1 percent state transfer tax, the total tax on the sale of real estate in Philadelphia is now 5 percent. That amounts to $4,200 on an $84,000 home - the median price of a house in Philadelphia.
NEWS
April 26, 1987 | By Bill Walls, Special to The Inquirer
An ordinance designed to close possible loopholes in the realty transfer tax was passed at a special meeting of the Sharon Hill Borough Council last week. The ordinance passed by a 5-0 vote. Council Solicitor Richard C. Tinucci said after Wednesday night's meeting that the ordinance specifically addressed the status of condominiums. It establishes that condominiums are liable for the transfer tax when sold, "whereas under the old ordinance, there may have been some question," he said.
NEWS
April 28, 1990 | By Anthony R. Wood, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city's Realtors are upset that the Goode administration wants to delay a plan to reduce the city's real estate transfer tax, the highest in the nation. Retaining the current rate - 4.07 percent - "sends the wrong message to the citizens of this city," Alan Domb, president of the Philadelphia Board of Realtors, said yesterday at a sparsely attended City Council budget hearing. Last year, Council passed budget legislation that called for gradually lowering the rate to 3 percent over five years, starting with a reduction to 3.92 percent for the fiscal year that begins July 1. But the administration has introduced a bill that "basically delays the step-down in the tax by one year," said Michael Masch, director of economic analysis for City Council.
NEWS
April 23, 1987 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tredyffrin Township has collected $189,000 more than it anticipated so far this year in real estate transfer taxes, the Board of Supervisors was told this week. Next month, the supervisors are scheduled to hold a hearing to consider doubling the tax and closing some loopholes that, according to township officials, allow some corporations and builders to avoid paying the tax. The current 1/2 percent transfer tax is based on the sale price of real estate. At the supervisors meeting Monday night, township resident Noel Jackson suggested that the surplus funds be transferred to the capital reserve fund, which was depleted by about $135,000 this year for vehicle purchases.
NEWS
May 26, 1988 | By Linda S. Wallace, Inquirer Staff Writer
A 60 percent increase in Philadelphia's realty transfer tax - adding 1.5 percent to the cost of any real estate purchase - apparently will make transfer taxes in the city, at 5 percent, the highest in the nation. The city transfer-tax increase from 2.5 percent to 4 percent, part of $100.7 million in tax increases approved early yesterday by City Council, will mean that on the sale of a $100,000 house, $5,000 in transfer taxes will be paid - $4,000 to the city and $1,000, or 1 percent, to the state.
NEWS
November 1, 1989 | By Jeffrey Taylor, Daily News Staff Writer
For all you taxpayers who bought or sold property between July 1, 1988, and June 30, 1989, and are already calculating how much your real estate transfer tax refund will be, the city of Philadelphia has a message: Don't bank on it. Despite two court rulings that City Council illegally raised the realty transfer tax by 63 percent last year - and despite the state Supreme Court's refusal to reconsider those rulings - the city won't budge....
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NEWS
August 30, 2016
Philadelphia has the highest business taxes among the nation's 30 largest cities. But instead of reforming its tax structure, the city has clipped around the edges by creating the greatest number of exemptions and incentives. That mishmash is an admission that the city's tax system is broken. There is scant evidence that the 21 exemptions and incentives that the city offers are working, according to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Revenue losses due to the tax breaks have skyrocketed from an average of $14.9 million annually from 2001 to 2003, to $109.6 million annually from 2010 to 2012.
NEWS
August 26, 2016
ISSUE | TRANSFER TAX Whether it's a levy or a fee, it's costly When I bought my home in Delaware County in 2009 and tried to deduct the transfer tax from my income tax, my accountant told me that it was not a "tax" but a "fee," and, therefore, not deductible ("Dodging taxes," Sunday). It sure felt like a tax. Being a peon, I had no choice but to pay it. It's just another thing that the "little people" have to pay - not like real-estate moguls, like a certain presidential candidate.
NEWS
June 11, 2016
ISSUE | REAL ESTATE TAX Transfer levy unfair All Philadelphians should have safe, healthy, and affordable homes. It is equally important, however, that the city encourage home ownership, not create barriers to it. City Council should not take on $100 million in new debt and increase the city's real estate transfer tax to fix homes in disrepair ("Proposed transfer-tax rise assailed," June 3). Such a tax is regressive and narrowly based, and it falls disproportionately and unfairly on those who can least afford it. Low- and moderate-income families spend a greater proportion of their income on their mortgages and home purchases.
NEWS
June 4, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Staff Writer
The region's real estate agents are pushing back on a proposed increase in the real estate transfer tax that, though only a fraction of a percent, they say would stymie home sales. Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors president Paul Garvey said at a City Council hearing Thursday that the increase targets seniors looking to downsize and millennials looking to put down roots. "The burden of any tax increase will be greatest on young, first-time homebuyers, a critically important demographic in terms of revitalizing the city's economic base," Garvey said.
NEWS
May 14, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Staff Writer
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke is looking to pump $100 million into preserving Philadelphia's aging housing stock, including giving owners of deteriorating homes loans for repairs. He has proposed paying for the effort with a bond, and on Thursday introduced legislation to pay the debt service on that borrowing with a 0.1 percent increase in the real estate transfer tax. Clarke said he wanted to "expeditiously change neighborhoods. " "Not little, rehab four or five houses at a time," he said.
NEWS
July 9, 2015
ISSUE | TAXES Less is more When does a tax become a "smart" tax, as Carolyn Adams proposes ("A tax on Philly house flippers," Sunday)? One of the primary forces for the revitalization of residential neighborhoods in Philadelphia in the past two decades has been the 10-year tax abatement provided to redevelopers. Because of the reduction in the tax burden, the demand for housing and subsequent appreciation of real estate have done far more to build wealth for working- and middle-class Philadelphians than any tax-and-redistribution policy.
NEWS
December 20, 2012 | BY BARBARA LAKER, Daily News Staff Writer lakerb@phillynews.com, 215-854-5933
POLICE COMMISSIONER Charles Ramsey has decided to fire Officer Elaine Thomas for an alleged tax scam, saying that a suspension wasn't enough. "In my mind, it was serious enough to warrant dismissal," Ramsey said Wednesday. "There were so many cases involved and this was not a one-time thing. It's not something you can say it was just an error. " Thomas, a 15-year veteran, allegedly claimed in signed court documents in six real-estate transactions that she was related by blood to people who were listed as the sellers.
NEWS
December 3, 2012 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
No one could hold down Robert May. He fled Jim Crow Georgia, arriving in Philadelphia in 1935 determined to run his own business. During the next four decades, he opened several neighborhood bars and worked at his family's store, May's Market at Ridge Avenue and 25th Street. And after dying of cancer in 1978 at age 64, May mysteriously rose again, 27 years later. On Aug. 6, 2005, May supposedly signed over the deed of his two-story Strawberry Mansion rowhouse to Philadelphia Police Officer Elaine P. Thomas.
NEWS
June 29, 2012 | Harry Gross
DEAR HARRY: In January 2011, my son "Jim" defaulted on his mortgage. His wife had not revealed to him that they were in financial trouble until it was too late. We were able to iron out all the marital issues, and I got all their finances on a current basis. He has a steady job that he's had for years, and he makes about $75,000 a year. We were then able to work out a deal with Fannie Mae for my other son, "Bill," to buy the house for a cash settlement of $257,000 (the house is worth upwards of $300,000)
BUSINESS
April 25, 2012 | By Alan J. Heavens, INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
If you want to rile a New Jersey resident, two words will do it: property taxes. Most state residents — 89 percent of the 800 registered voters surveyed in early April by the state's Realtors, according to the poll's results — maintain that property taxes are too high, but they are less united about proposals to lower them. "Property taxes continue to be a major concern, even ahead of the economy and jobs," said Joe Goode, senior vice president of American Strategies, who has been conducting the poll for the New Jersey Association of Realtors for the last five years.
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