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March 27, 2008

Comments

Liza

Good for the lawmakers who are striving to keep their word and sunset this tax. This tax is unfair and not based upon ability to pay. Someone selling their home at a loss will still have to bring money to the closing table to pay this sales tax.

How can any fiscally responsible mayor or first selectman base their annual budget on a tax that they KNOW is scheduled to end? Extending the tax for two more years is a tax increase, pure and simple. Shame on any state lawmaker who votes to extend the conveyance tax and then claims not to have imposed any new taxes this session.

brickbat

Nobody in their right mind thinks a sunset is a "promise". There are dozens of laws that are sun-setted, and they are usually extended.

A sunset gives lawmakers a chance to review laws and decide to continue them or not.

Eliminating the tax wouldn't give anyone a break, it would just mean that property taxes would go up more.

The realtors should stop crying crocodile tears for the "taxpayers" and cut their 6% commissions, if they care so much for the sellers.

Bob in Stamford

Another group of lawmakers who know how to keep their word - sunset means sunset... not review, extend or increase! Why can't the municipalities stand tall, bite the bullet and get their finances in order or increase the mill rate for "all" to share in their budgetary inefficiencies. Stop hiding behind a "hidden" and discriminatory tax. Do the right thing - sunset the tax and get your finances in order - NOW!

Tom

Who is kidding who? Today's politician has a public honesty factor of zero. They promise anything necessary to remain in office, then break those promises when it is convenient gambling that this will go unnoticed. Since they can't play this game without our participation, we are the fools.

Tom

What is a politician's promise worth? Nothing because, as we all know, they promise whatever is necessary to remain in office, then break the promise when convenient gambling on the fact that the passage of time erases our memory of the event. There is no "good" politician or "bad" politician today; they are all exactly the same which is why we need term limits (one term only) as much as they need our tax revenue.

Cathy  Castellani

How can our legislators after seeing the petitions to sunset the tax, FROM OUR HOMEOWNERS THEMSELVES, vote to extend the tax AGAIN. Apparantly, our voters' opinions don't mean anything to our legislators. My thanks to those Representatives and Senators who see this as an unfair tax and voted against its continuance. Our towns have had 5 years to get their budgets back in order. Why can't they set a budget without the increase that the extra temporary tax provided.

Joseph J. Scutnik Sr.

Subject: Sunset Conveyance Tax HB5885


Dear House & State represenatives it is not in the best interest of the people owning residential property in the State Of Connecticut to be unfairly taxed with this double taxation which technically should have been sunset after it temporarily served its purpose!
It has places a major burden on all residential property owners;especially on those who have been forced into short sales and do not have the financial means to accommodate this deadly process!
It is indeed your responsibility to avoid such a calamity as our representatives to avert this burden on the housing industry and its citizens; there are more equitable solutions to increase your revenues and should be closely scrutinized e.g.:
The banking industry doesn't pay any conveyance tax on foreclosed properties;this indeed should put a major windfall in your pursuit in increasing revenues.
Inclosing sunset this unworthy burden off the shoulders of the residential property owners its your responsibility.

Respectfully a Residential Property owner.

Joseph J Scutnik 860-295-0112
15 Victoria Lane
Marlborough, CT 06447

Mary Lou Wall

The only way to stop the double conveyance tax is for the public to stop making our politicans rock stars. Our local reps have been in office for A LONG TIME and have done absolutely nothing of any significant; Otherwise, our seniors would have more respect, from of business owners who pull in huge amounts of money, in their last resting place REST HOMES, yeah some rest. SELLERS of properties would not be double tax or double and sometimes triple on utilities, WATER would be clean by now you would think, ROADS and BRIDGES would be safe. I observe reps going in and out of places, like restaurants for example and their are treated like heros - INSURANCE, SAFE STREETS, ETC ETC Wake up or WE will not be able to do a thing - let's make our representatives RESPONSIBLE - Even our hard earned EQUITY IN OUR HOMES is in their hands - who's taking all this money and dignity and integrity away from us. Thank you.

Anne Forland

A promise should be a promise we are taught as children. Keep your word, it is all you have. How very convenient for our legislators to put off until tomorrow what they gave their word to do yesterday. In the event we need additional funds, tax everyone fairly and equally. It is easy to hide behind a conveyance tax which is bourn only by a home seller regardless of the the length of time the seller has owned the home
or if the seller walks away empty handed. The banks however are giv en a pass as they are not required to pay the tax on a foreclosed property. Perhaps term limits should be a discussion before the next election. The question might be who is it you work for?

A.K.Forland

brickbat

You guys are being played by the realtors. There is no tax cut gonna happen - property taxes will just go up for everyone else.

Good for the legislators who had the guts to stand up against the special interest real estate lobby and vote to extend the tax - a vote that will benefit every homeowner who isn't selling.

Linda Hull

I do not know what the problem is with sunseting the conveyance tax!!! A Promise is a Promise and it should have been removed back in 2004. PLEASE TELL THE LOCAL AND STATE OFFICIALS TO STOP PICKING OUR (YOUR) POCKETS. lINDA

Dave Luzi

THERE IS A LESSON TO BE LEARNED HERE. We should never, ever believe a politician again when they say the "tax is only temporary". They won't keep their word. Let's not be duped again!

Cathy Duprey

This tax is often the hidden tax that no-one knows about until they sell their home. The tax is calculated on the total sale price, not the equity or the profit that the homeowner makes. As a REALTOR, I see first hand the stress that today's homeowner faces at the closing table, often bringing money to the table to close. This tax is so unfair because a small number of people are footing the bill for the towns, instead of the same tax being spread to all homeowners. In small towns where a small number of homes are sold, these homeowners are facing double taxes, regular property taxes and the tax for the the privilege of selling their homes. The politicians should look to their values and the promise that they made. Realtors care about this issue because we see first hand the hardship our sellers face.

Joanne

As a Realtor we have been trying to get this tax retired for the last 5 years . Some of us genuinely care about your life's greatest investment and don't want to see you lose any of it to a state government that continues to increase any tax it can get away with. This tax is hurting many of the seniors in this state who live on a fixed income and need every dollar they can get when it's time to sell their homes and those homeowners who are trying to sell before they go into foreclosure. Before you know it the state will go after the next group of innocent victims...the first time home buyers. There are already rumblings that's next. It's time we start holding our politicians accountable for what they promise to do to get themselves into office. How many more articles of politicians taking kickbacks and gifts do we need to read about before we wake up and realize we need to make changes in Hartford?

We need to make everyone aware about this conveyance tax. I can't tell you just how many sellers don't know they are paying this tax until they are sitting at the closing table. When I counsel my sellers I make them aware as to how much they will walk away with in their pockets BEFORE they accept an offer on their home.

Played by the Realtors? I THINK NOT! Trying to educate the public? YOU BET! Knowledge is power.....Your representatives ignored all the petitions from CT homeowners that your realtors collected to sunset this tax on your behalf. We need to elect politicians that will listen to your voices!

Brickbat

Yes, played by the realtors. What they are fighting about is about $400 on a $300,000 home, not the whole tax. But when it's all accumulated it's $40 million statewide.

I guess it's OK to put that on the backs of all the other property owners in a town, then.

No, you will say. Cut all the taxes. Yeah, right. And when the costs of personnel, insurance, energy and other things keeps going up how do you propose to do that?

As I posted before, if the realtors were really worrying about the poor sellers, they would cut their 6% commissions.

Kudos to the legislators who stood up to the special-interest real estate lobby.

Ken DelVecchio


The conveyance tax on real estate was passed in 2003 under the Rowland administration to help the towns fill a short term funding gap, it was approved as a 15 month tax only and the State Legislature PROMISED at the end of the 15-months the tax would sunset or roll back to where it was previously. Well, all the municipal leaders immediately put this new found money into their town and city budgets. When the 15 months came to an end they said they couldn’t possibly give up the extra money now, as it was in the BUDGET! So this extra bonus tax to the municipalities was extended to 2005 and then again to 2006 and then again to 2007 – now they asking for this tax to stay around until 2009! Wow!

At a time when many home sellers are selling at a loss, or seniors that must sell because they can’t afford the property taxes any longer, or the military person that is being shipped over seas find out at the closing they have to pay this extra money, whether or not they are making any money. This tax must be paid! Does this make any sense to anyone other then the municipal leaders?

How much more can the homeowners of Connecticut take? The goose that laid the golden eggs (housing) has flown away! What ever happened to the TRUST we are supposed to get from our elected officials?

I say to the Mayors and Selectmen around the state, “How about tightening your budgets like so many of us are forced to do in this difficult economic time”?

For more on this tax go to www.myhouse-mymoney.org.

Ken DelVecchio is President of the Connecticut Association of REALTORS.

Bob Fiorito

Let's really look at CCM logic. This is a property tax cut? This is no tax cut. After you have paid your property tax for years you are given a going away present by your town of this bonus property tax. If I pay more in taxes it is a tax increase.
It was never ment to sunset? Sunset means revisit. What? When the tax was increased in 2003 it had a date specific to revert back to the old rate. To say otherwise is an attempt to rewrite history. This is an insult to taxpayers.
It hasn't hurt the market.
Realtors never claimed it would hurt the market since we have no way of knowing this nor do they. The real estate market is certainly not as good as it was and will always be cyclical. Fact is many more people today are being hurt by having to pay this tax then a few years ago.
It is only $420 savings. Only? If you have to pay it, it is a lot. We make a big deal out of cutting the $250 business entity tax, or when we give a tax payer a $50-$300 tax rebate but some how $420 is no longer a big deal. Another insult to tax payers.
Do the Right Thing!!! Let the increase tax sunset

Sharon Stryker

"Liar, Liar, pants on fire" is all I can say about politicians' promises. As a teacher we had to be accountable constantly, because of rules they made. Lawmakers ought to look at themselves for performance, and to the taxpayers for a merit raise. Other than the Gov. I doubt there would be any granted. SUNSET means END the conveyance tax issue. It was passed during the night when nobody was looking, least of all the people MOST affected by the EXTRA COST. We Realtors WORK HARD for our money and often do NOT get paid anything! Maybe it is time to start getting a salary or hourly wage for also "serving the public".Stop spending our money as if it was your own! NOW is the time to END the conveyance tax penalty for all.

Dan Sperduto

I’m madder than a hornet. Some in the CT State legislature are looking to take more money out of our pockets. The increased “temporary” conveyance tax of .75% of the selling price was supposed to be dropped in 2004.

We all know that once you give most politicians a source of money the last thing they want to do is let it go. Just like a junky with dope or an alcoholic with booze, many of our elected representatives are having withdrawal symptoms at the mere thought of eliminating this “temporary” tax. Their word has been proven to be meaningless. Accordingly our legislature has extended this onerous tax each year. Now… they are set to make this unfair tax permanent.

You might ask, “What does this mean to me?” On April 4, 2008 the Labor Dept reported a grim picture and stark evidence of just how much the jobs market has buckled under the weight of the housing, credit and financial crises.

The real estate market is already staggering due to a market correction. This tax is indiscriminate in that it is assessed to each seller of property in CT regardless whether that seller has even made a profit. Recent news reports also reported the average equity in peoples’ homes in the USA has decreased below 50% for the first time in ages.

When someone is faced with selling their home due to a divorce, job transfer, job loss, death, illness, upsizing, downsizing or any other reason the CT legislature is licking its chops and can’t wait to get their hand on our hard earned equity (if any) and money. If you sell your home for $200,000 the tax due at closing is an additional $1500 out of pocket. If it is worth $300,000 this unfair tax would take $2250 out of a family budget.


Many sellers find themselves in a scenario where their homes are worth less than it can be sold for. In these situations the seller actually has to bring money to closing in order to clear title. Imagine the shock when they discover the amount needed is increased by $2000 because many of their elected legislators decided not to sunset this tax as promised, but instead voted to confiscate even more of their hard earned money.


What about Buyers? Don’t think for a minute that increasing the seller’s costs at the closing table doesn’t impact on them as well. It could and likely will affect the price a buyer will have to pay for a home. Then of course remember every buyer will someday become a seller.


This is nothing but a money grab. However, after looking at CT's legislative tax history it is entirely predictable.

A few tax points about CT:

1) We were told the lottery was the answer. Nope

2) We were told the “temporary” income tax was the answer. Nope, plus they made it permanent and increased the rate!

3) Our sales tax rate is 6%.

4) We also pay 6% sales tax on our big purchases such as vehicles, RV’s, boats, etc

5) Then we are again taxed with the abominable property tax for as long as we own such assets! Year after year, more and more taxes.

6) We were told the Casinos would be the answer. Nope

7) We share the dubious honor of ranking among the states who rape their citizens the most in regards to high gasoline taxes in the USA… Hmmm still not enough

8) The "original" combined (state & town) conveyance tax rate in CT was .062%. (ex: $300,000 x .062% = $186)

9) Then these same CT State Legislators decided they wanted to stick their hand further into our pockets and raise that conveyance tax to .75%. (ex: $300,000 x .75% = $2250) This is not a 5% increase, not even 100% but a whopping 1100%+ higher than it was! Yep, you read that right! But it was promised to only be a temporary tax. Hmmmm… where did we hear that before??

10) Now they want to make it a permanent tax! Hmmmm… I wonder if they will ever try to raise the rate if these wonderful stewards of taxpayer monies succeed in making it permanent? Oh yeah… they already tried once to do so!

Folks… We need to mobilize and do it now before these elected tax junkies are allowed to destroy what remains of the real estate market and our fine state.

Normally I don’t get involved in such matters but these legislators have to be sent a message and a strong one at that! We should boot out of office those legislators who do not vote to sunset this tax as promised. We are madder than hell and will not stand by any longer while they rape our wallets. Enough is enough.

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