Today, Governor Pete Ricketts joined the Nebraska REALTORS® Association (NRA), the Home Builders Association of Lincoln (HBAL), and the Metro Omaha Builders Association to oppose legislative proposals that would raise the cost of home ownership. Currently, the Revenue Committee is considering tax increases on home sales and home repairs. In particular, it has discussed hiking the doc stamp tax on real estate transactions (real estate transfer tax), taxing home repairs like plumbing work, and placing a tax on moving services.
“With the Revenue Committee’s approach to tax policy, everyone loses,” said Gov. Ricketts. “From putting new taxes on homes to ripping off existing property tax relief for new spending, some Senators are getting ready to raise taxes on working families to give another group of people tax relief. The Legislature is officially on notice: Don’t tax working families out of house and home!”
“Increased [real estate transfer taxes] would have a negative impact on housing costs, especially for affordable and workforce housing,” said NRA President Darlene Fletcher. “It will reduce the ability of first-time buyers to afford a home, and of buyers looking to move up to a larger place.”
Herb Reese, HBAL President-elect, expressed concern that the proposed taxes would especially burden lower-income households. “Families trying to stay afloat financially would be the ones impacted the most by the sales tax,” he said.
NRA Treasurer Andy Alloway also spoke in opposition to the home-related tax increases. “The economic, wealth-building benefits of home ownership are vast,” he said. “We see a lot of first-time homebuyers and young people who want to become homeowners, and we don’t want to do anything to discourage that. Raising the [real estate transfer tax] would be an obstacle to home ownership.”