The Missouri Association of Realtors is behind the initiative that would ban a real estate transfer tax from coming to Missouri. Voters will decide Nov. 2 if the state constitution should be amended to preemptively block state government from instating the tax.
Real estate transfer taxes are assessed on property when ownership is transferred between parties, according to the group's website. It applies to any change in ownership, whether the property is passed from a buyer to seller, contractor to developer or family member to their heir.
The tax can turn expensive very quickly, said Sharon Keating, co-owner of RE/MAX Jefferson City, who supports amendment three.
Missouri is one of 13 states without a transfer tax, Mendenhall said. Although no plans for such a tax have materialized yet in the Missouri legislature, proponents of amendment three want to make sure they never do.
"It's a slippery slope," Keating said. "We just don't want it to get started in Missouri, have it start low and then continue to move up as government needs more money to function."
Leaving the option for the tax open provides another way to generate revenue for the state, but Keating said she believes the tax would do more harm than good for home and property owners.
Rep. Mike Leara, R-St. Louis County, said there is general support for the anti-tax amendment in the Missouri legislature. "There are already transfer fees and title registration and things of that nature," Leara said. "Any additional fee is totally unnecessary."
The Realtors Association continues to advocate for the initiative with their "Vote Yes to Stop Double Taxation" campaign. About $2 million have been given to support the ballot measure.
There is no organized opposition to the amendment, although it nearly didn't make the ballot because the petition's signatures were under contention. In September, the Secretary of State's office dropped its appeal of a judge's ruling that allowed the initiative to go to voters.
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