By Holly I. Unck Esq., Senior Managing Consultant, Phoenix
The Pittsburgh school district is cracking down on developers who have been taking advantage of loopholes to avoid paying deed transfer to taxes when buying properties Downtown and elsewhere for the past several years. In the city, the transfer tax, paid on all property sold, is 4 percent, with 2 percent going to the city, 1 percent to the school district, and 1 percent to the state. However, there have several high-profile cases over the last four years in which buyers took advantage of loopholes to escape paying millions of dollars in deed transfer taxes.
On November 4, Santa Monica residents will vote on Measure H and HH, which will decide whether or not to increase transfer tax rates and if so, where to allocate the new funds. Placed on the ballot by City Council to raise local city revenue, Measure H calls for a yes or no vote that would amend the real estate transfer tax so that for commercial and non-commercial real estate sold for one million dollars or more, the rate would increase from $3 to $9 per $1,000 of sale price (or fractional part of $1,000). Transfers for less than $1 million would continue to be taxed by the City at the existing rate of $3 per $1,000 of sale price.