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North Dakota REALTORS® Help Defeat Transfer Taxes

By HOM Editorial Team
July 2015

The North Dakota Association of REALTORS® recently helped eliminate a real estate “transfer tax” that burdened homebuyers and sellers across the state.

North Dakota voters passed a constitutional amendment barring the state and its counties, townships, cities and other governmental subdivisions from imposing transfer taxes.

A transfer tax is imposed when a person transfers or sells property. Real estate transfer taxes are a painful reality in 36 states that make buying or selling a home more expensive. North Dakota is now the sixth state to have banned real estate transfer taxes — thanks, in large part, to the efforts of REALTORS®.

Organized efforts to ban transfer taxes in North Dakota began in 2012 through a coalition that included the North Dakota Association of REALTORS®. The result: a November 2014 ballot initiative to amend the North Dakota constitution that would prohibit those taxes and more. In an effort to strengthen the housing market and protect homebuyers and sellers, the Association worked tirelessly in support of the amendment. Financial support from the National Association of REALTORS® helped the North Dakota Association’s efforts to educate the public.

However, a significant obstacle stood in the way of the amendment. The language of the proposed amendment was confusing. A number of polls suggested that voters might be inclined to vote No, believing that a No vote would eliminate the tax, when in fact the opposite would be true.

In spite of this obstacle, the North Dakota Association of REALTORS® and others successfully educated voters to make sure they understood that a Yes vote was a vote against transfer taxes. The amendment passed with the support of 75 percent of voters. The constitutional amendment prohibits transfer taxes, mortgage taxes and sales taxes from being imposed on the mortgage or the transfer of real property.

The North Dakota Association of REALTORS® is committed to keeping home buying affordable and free of burdensome taxes.

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