September 10th, 2012 | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: Politics, Business, Legislature

Cash Rains Into Real Estate Transfer Tax Measure

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Real estate groups are continuing to pour big bucks into a November ballot measure that would amend Oregon's constitution to include a provision prohibiting real estate transfer taxes.

State filings show that the National Association of Realtors recently contributed $939,000 and the Oregon Association of Realtors contributed $700,000 to the "Yes on 79" committee.

The committee has raised $2.5 million this year and now has $1.47 million on hand.

As WW reported earlier, the measure is something of a solution in search of a problem.

Real estate transfer fees—essentially a sales tax on property transactions—are already illegal under state law (except in Washington County, whose tax preceded the 1989 legislation outlawing such taxes in Oregon). Putting the prohibition in the Constitution would take away lawmakers ability to change current law but it would also eliminate a tool used in 30 other states and one of the few options available to Oregon's cash-starved timber counties.

 
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