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Local Home Sales Tax Bills Spark Public Response

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RISMEDIA, Oct. 10, 2007-New Jersey’s current and future homeowners can now use the Web site www.njhometax.com to tell state legislators that they don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars more for a local Home Sales Tax.

The citizen-to-legislator contact effort marks the next phase of New Jersey Home Sales Tax campaign, which is gaining momentum and catching the attention of New Jerseyans.

“We’re getting a very strong response,” said Jarrod C. Grasso, vice president of government affairs for the New Jersey Association of REALTORS®. “There’s a sense of momentum propelling our effort as a result of individual homeowners and future homebuyers signing our online petition and contacting their legislators.”

Legislation being considered by the state Legislature would permit New Jersey towns to impose a tax on the sale of homes and other real property. This local Home Sales Tax would be in addition to the state Home Sales Tax (officially called the Realty Transfer Fee) already in place.

New Jersey citizens can now use njhometax.com to easily send a letter to their state legislators asking them to oppose a new local Home Sales Tax. The Web site provides a pre-written message that allows visitors to add their own comments. Citizens sending a letter through the Web site will need to submit their name, address and e-mail address. The letter will be sent to the appropriate state legislators based on the zip code provided.

The letter writing effort is part of a campaign to inform and engage homeowners about the local Home Sales Tax proposal. In recent weeks the campaign has reached out to homeowners through its Web site and newspaper, radio and Internet advertising.

The current Home Sales Tax due on a home sold for $376,500 – the median price of an existing home in New Jersey – is $2,989. With the extra local Home Sales Tax, the entire Home Sales Tax bill due by a home seller would increase 13%. The extra local tax will push the total Home Sales Tax bill up 103% since 2003.

“For people selling their home, money that would otherwise go toward a new home purchase or improvements would instead go toward paying this new tax,” said Grasso. “Homeowners are concerned about this tax and want to protect their home and equity.”

“New Jersey homeowners have access to useful information and resources through the njhometax.com website, including a Home Sales Tax calculator,” continued Grasso. “Now homeowners can use the website to voice their concerns to state legislators about this proposed new tax, which will cost homeowners hundreds of dollars out of their home’s equity.”

The campaign is funded by the New Jersey Association of REALTORS® Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee. New Jersey-based Novita Issue Communications is the media consultant for the campaign.

The New Jersey Association of REALTORS® is a non-profit organization serving the professional needs of more than 55,000 REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® members in the state. 2007 marks the association’s 90th anniversary year. REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who subscribe to the REALTOR® organization’s strict Code of Ethics and are members of the national, state and local REALTOR® organizations. For more information, please visit www.njar.com.

For more information, visit www.njhometax.com.

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