Kentucky REALTORS® Know Homes Matter

By HOM Editor

State governments are always looking for ways to raise revenue, especially in today’s economy. The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® is working overtime to make sure those efforts don’t interfere with home ownership.

In 2012, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform. That commission presented a number of recommendations for changes to the tax laws, including eliminating the existing tax deduction for mortgage interest and imposing a sales tax on a variety of services associated with home purchases.

The recommendations of the commission sparked much discussion among state lawmakers. Under some proposed laws, the state would adopt the commission’s recommendations to eliminate the mortgage-tax deduction and extend the sales tax to a variety of services. The services that would be taxed included real estate commissions, home inspections, and other services necessary to most home purchases.

For the average Kentuckian, those proposals would increase the cost of a home by $5,000, according to Kentucky Association of REALTORS® CEO Joe McClary.

The Association took swift action. It started the Kentucky Homes Matter campaign, a comprehensive effort focused on keeping the mortgage interest deduction in place and avoiding taxes on services that would increase the cost of buying a home.”We do not want to see taxes on the services associated with a real estate transaction,” McClary said. “We’re trying to avoid a tax structure that hurts homeowners.”

The campaign has included petitions, a website, lobbying, events and other activities designed to bring attention to the potential problems and to put pressure on state lawmakers to set their sights elsewhere. So far, the campaign is working.

“The message has been loud and clear,” McClary said.

The governor’s budget last year did not include the disputed tax increases.

McClary stressed that the Association is committed to ensuring that the state’s tax structure does not hinder home ownership. Last year, for example, the Association advocated quietly — and successfully — to oppose regulations that would increase homeowner association costs and, ultimately, increase the cost of owning a home.

“Our entire advocacy arm is aimed at protecting the public and home costs,” McClary said.

The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® is working hard to keep housing affordable for all homebuyers in the Bluegrass State.


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