WARNING PROPERTY OWNERS:An Act aka Real Estate Transfer Fee

By John L Sullivan

The newly sworn in Board of Aldermen have provided a draft of the TRANSFER FEE. I want to call it their first Act in a show that has much more.

The entire draft can be seen on the city’s website but I want to provide the two most important aspects of the first act:

Section 2. The city of Somerville may impose a fee of up to one percent ( 1%) of the purchase price upon the transfer of ANY REAL property interest in any rear property situated in the City of Somerville.

(A) If the seller of such real property owned the property for less than 5 consecutive years as of the date of the deed or other instrument evidencing such transfer or such other date as defined by the city, the FEE IMPOSED maybe up to two percent ( 2% ) of the SAID PURCHASE PRICE . However , the increased maximum fee amount in this subsection (a) shall not apply if the seller is a taxpayer approved for an exemption for residential real property with respect to such real property classified as Class one , residential , in the said city of Somerville , pursuant to section 5c of Chapter 59 of the General Laws or any special law , as of said date.

Said fee amounts shall be set forth by the city ordinance . The fee shall be paid to the City of Somerville , hereinafter referred to as the ” City ” . The city shall deposit all fees received into the city of Somerville housing trust fund established by the city.

Section 5 , The city MAY , by ordinance , adopt additional requirements , exemptions and regulations to implement or enforce said fee, consistent with this act.

Yes property owners you allow this to pass and at any given time they can change the language and impose this FEE on every piece of real estate in the city.

This is the first COWARDLY ACT by this group with more to follow. They voted to move forward without providing any notice to the taxpaying property owners in the city they were elected to represent.

The second act of the show of 2018 is the first right of refusal another move to make selling your privately owned piece of property. Another home rule petition moving forward by the BOA.

Attend the public hearing at City hall WEDNESDAY APRIL 4, 2018 @ 6:00 P.M. If you are unaware there is minimal parking and over 200 more spaces will be gone as a result of the upcoming magical act occurring in act three info soon to follow.

Contact every elected official local and State tell them NO to the TRANSFER FEE AND THE FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL. For more information on both these issues.

Go to Small Property Owners Association see the true impacts on both of these home rule petitions. Cambridge City council already said NO.

Somerville old and new it affects all of you unite and fight another attempt to tax us on top of what we already pay, excise, real estate taxes, revaluation taxes, building permits, parking permits, cpa tax, water meter fees, water bills, 250 million bond for a new school without parking, 50 million to the T, Assembly square bonds, Union Square bonds, meal tax.

LETS CANCELL THIS PERFORMANCE ” AN ACT ” Say NO

7 thoughts on “WARNING PROPERTY OWNERS:An Act aka Real Estate Transfer Fee”

  1. This is a good writeup on the property transfer fee and the percentage of fees you are charged for a property
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  2. John,

    You are so right. I sent the BOA a letter (see below) on hoe I feel this is just another screw job against the working class home owners.

    Dear Board of Aldermen,

    This transfer fee is nothing more than a socialist extortion and should not pass in any form. If the “People’s Republic of Cambridge” stopped it so will we.

    The CPA tax and the Proposition 2 1/2 override were more than enough pilfering from us Home owners and this needs to stop. If this city really meant what they say they would have made FRIT and other developers cede the 20% affordable housing rates but chose another back room bag job and settled for 6% and a cash payment for units that will take years to develop the inventory the 20% would have gotten us on that deal. This fee is just a greedy cash grab to be taken away from home owners fed up with the increased taxes and having to make choice to sell and move to more affordable locations. The city cannot be trusted to do the right thing and actually use it as intended. The exemptions will of course not be honored and just temporarily permitted to see how much money is lost and at that time and will then try to modify it to remove the exemptions one by one while also trying to increase the percentage collected on this tax. I know some of you Aldermen are in favor of no exemptions and that is just greed.

    Taxes are rarely reduced and most likely rise as current and future administrations get used to the deeper trough you feed from. I will be at the meeting and look forward to informing the people of this socialistic crap for what it is “Robbing the Hood” instead of Robin Hood. I have no connection to SPOA or any other landlord organizations but I would ally with them in opposition to this. Sometimes cities and towns become more expensive due to location and people have to make choices and move to a city or town that provides housing at a price within their budget. I would love to live in Dover, Wayland, Weston, Duxbury or Marblehead but they are beyond my budget so I am here.

    If the city continues to increase taxes we landlords will just pass it on to our tenants as higher and higher rents which will accelerate the gentrification process led by these same steps you are supporting to fight gentrification.

    What will be your next suggestion? Rent Control? Change is inevitable and when Somerville developed as much as it did why would any rational person not expect rent and home prices rise in relation to the surrounding development? Why should the homeowner be made to pay for something they had no direct input in?

    I am not going to be made to feel guilty for this outright stealing from me to give to others. We have charity for that and you and the other socialists can give all the money you want but keep your hands out of my pocket when doing it. I will fight hard to keep what I earned and saved for my family to stay right where it is.

    I will see you on Wednesday when I have my say.

    Sincerely,

    Peter Blaikie – Home Owner

  3. Bette,

    Wherever you are getting your information from, just know that it is incorrect.

    The state has its own separtate transfer tax imposed on home sellers as the city officials of Somerville are trying to enforce its own.

    It’s become abundantly clear those in favor are waging war on the local homeowners by pushing these bills.

    The other bill of concern is Right of First refusal which essentially is another name for Rent Control.

    What’s important to note is that both bills are driven by the liberal transient community who don’t feel they should pay rent at market cost under Right of First Refusal (ROFR).

    Instead, a nonprofit would be used to help them acquire a loan they would not otherwise be able to afford. What some don’t know is the nonprofit who granted the loan would take the equity the property would accrue over time. How does this help the new owner?

    As it stands to date, the Board of Aldermen continue to deliberate at 4 hour long meetings on whether the bills should pass and/or how they should be written.

    There is a very important meeting on April 4, at the aldermen’s chambers to discuss the Transfer Tax which I strongly encourage all homeowners to attend. Ward 5 & 6 aldermen have already sounded the alarm to their transitory tenant population so we expect there will be a full house in attendance.

    Please don’t say the mayor is without blame because most of us long time locals know the man is shameless. He has done nothing to help the working class long time locals of our town.

    His priorities lie with his developer friends and naive liberal residents who are clueless to the motivations of the mayor. But what do they care? Most are here for the ride— they have no long term commitment to our community or its people. Now they are coming for our families property and property of those who bought here years later when no one invested here. They stuck it out like we have through good times and bad. Why should they be forced to sell? No one should have the right to take the property of others.

    The local community must understand that our way of life has been threatened for the last 10 years and counting by ultra liberal policies and gentrification.

    They are picking up much speed on their deceptive tactics in hoping they can fool the unsuspecting residents, but I assure you what I am stating is the sad. hard truth.

    Our city is being hijacked. We can either fight back in a peaceful manner or choose to ignore it. Either way, just know that our city will never be the same if these bills are passed as intended and taxes continue to rise.

    Best of Luck to you and all seniors and working class families renting and those who own homes. These are scary times for us. Write or email your aldermen and other representatives. Ask them to be specific on the purpose of the bills.

    They promised affordable housing 10 years ago and we haven’t seen even close to the amount promised then, built. They must offer these units to others outside of our city. So how does their plan help our local residents who rely on affordable housing? What makes anyone believe they will deliver now?

  4. THE POST ON THE REAL ESTATE TRANSFER IS LONG OVER DUE TO INFORM THE CITIZENS. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THE MAYOR COOKED UP IT WAS DONE BY THE STATE. PLEASE NOTE, THE MONIES FROM THE XFR TAX GO INTO AN ACCOUNT DESIGNATED FOR HOUSING AND CAN NOT BE TOUCHED FOR OTHER PURPOSES. STOP MAKING THIS A CITY ISSUE AS IT IS MANDATED BY THE VERY PEOPLE YOU VOTED TO REPRESENT YOU AT THE STATE HOUSE.
    AS FOR THE DISREPAIR OF BRIDGES – THE PHOTOS YET AGAIN ARE MISLEADING THE CITIZENS. THE EDITOR OR WRITER SHOULD HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED IF THE PHOTOS OF DISREPAIR ARE BRIDGES OWNED BY THE CITY OR THE STATE. IF THE LATTER TIME TO GET ON THE PHONE TO THE REPS FROM SOMERVILLE AND OFF THE BACK OF THE MAYOR.

  5. REGRETFULLY THIS TRANSFER ACT WAS NOT INITIATED AT THE CITY LEVEL. IT WAS A LAW PASSED BY YOUR STATE REPS AT THE STATE HOUSE. ALL FUNDS FROM THIS TRANSFER FEE WILL BE SET ASIDE IN A FUND FOR PUBLIC/SENIOR HOUSING. THERE IS AN EXEMPTION TO THE ACT AND ONLY APPLIES WHEN YOU SELL YOUR HOME. EVERY CITY/TOWN IN THE STATE HAS THE BILL HANGING OVER THE SELLER OF ANY REAL ESTATE. THE BASIS OF THE ACT WILL CUT DOWN ON PEOPLE FLIPPING REAL ESTATE.

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