Pender County discusses land transfer tax

PENDER COUNTY -- People in Pender County were talking taxes Thursday night. The first of several meetings concerning the proposed new land transfer tax was held Thursday night. Pender County real estate broker Danielle Houfek and most of her colleagues are against the fee. They say they're concerned about it raising the price of homes and driving people away from Pender County. Tom Roper is the chair of Pender County's board of education, as well as a real estate agent. He says county schools need the money to continue to make Pender County appealing to people moving to the area. He says the fee would bring in about two-point-eight million dollars a year for school construction. "Education needs these funds. It's not a nice to have, it's a have to have," Roper said. Houfek said, "They said the lottery was going to the school so I don't understand why we have to have two different fees going to the school." Several North Carolina counties are considering a land transfer tax. It would add about $800 to the price of a $200,000 house.

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Notice that Realtors are decidedly against this tax? For that reason, you should vote for this tax. The development community is not going to have the best interest and long term health of a community at heart. Here's a thought Realtors: Cut your commissions to offset the higher taxes if you're worried that the extra money will slow down growth. Let's look at it this way: If the impact fees passes, the schools will get better funding but with less pressure on property taxes to provide that funding and that combination of great schools but low property taxes will bring people here in droves. This will create extra incentive to move here and you'll reap the rewards in higher sales. Who the heck uses Realtors anymore anyhow? The Internet is pretty much going to spell the end of them. Why pay some soccer mom with a Blue Tooth phone to unlock a house point inside and charge you thousands of dollars to do so? The Internet is making a lot of things obsolete and real estate agents need to accept this. Remember travel agents? Voters of Pender County, please don't fall for this nonsense that people won't come here if there's a land transfer tax. There is way too much interest in SE North Carolina for a land transfer tax to stop people from coming here. We should be so lucky as to stop the population explosion that is on the way. The county government might as well make some revenue out of the bulldozer that is already at work. There should not only be land transfer taxes but there should also be very steep development fees as well as impact fees in order to reduce the pressure to raise property taxes so that long time land owners won't be taxed off of their land. Think about it people, the development community does not want property taxes offset by development related fees and taxes. They want you taxed off of your property because it's more business for them. They win both ways-they don't pay as they go and then get to put your property on the market when you can't afford to live on it anymore.