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It’s Time to Lower the Realty Transfer Tax in Delaware

Did you know that Delaware has the highest state Realty Transfer Tax in America?

Why? Back in 2017, the legislature voted to temporarily increase the Realty Transfer Tax to cover a budget deficit.

Now, Delaware is projecting a budget surplus. So, why not help homebuyers with more cash at the table by repealing the Realty Transfer Tax increase? Doing so will make homeownership more attainable and affordable for:

  • Working-class families,

  • Minority families,

  • And millennials just starting out.

Tell your legislators to repeal the 2017 Realty Transfer Tax increase!

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In Delaware, when a home is sold, a Realty Transfer Tax of 2.5% of the purchase price currently must be paid to the state to complete the sale of property from the seller to the new buyer.

In 2017, the Delaware General Assembly passed an Act to amend Title 30 of the Delaware Code relating to Realty Transfer Tax (HB279) to close a budget deficit. HB279 raised the state’s portion of the Realty Transfer Tax from 1.5% to 2.5%.

It’s time to pass legislation to lower the state’s portion of the Realty Transfer Tax to 1.5%, returning it to the level it was before the increase in 2017.

Why repeal the Realty Transfer Tax increase?

ONE: Realty Transfer Taxes are a regressive tax because they place a greater financial burden on lower-income households compared to higher-income households.

TWO: Realty Transfer Taxes are also unfair because they are assessed against one type of asset — real estate — while similar taxes are rarely applied to financial assets such as stocks and bonds.

THREE: It is not only a burden, but the amount paid in taxes for property transfer far outweighs any government administrative costs associated with the purchase.

FOUR: Higher Realty Transfer Taxes discourage mobility among current property owners and discourage potential buyers from entering the market.