How Much Would a Transfer Fee on Expensive Real Estate Generate for Your City or Town?

The sharply rising price of housing has worsened racial and economic disparities between rich and poor. Ongoing public spending on local amenities and services supports the value of real estate in communities. Sellers of real estate in Massachusetts currently contribute to public investment by paying a small fee based on the sale price of their home. Many states enable local governments to collect an additional fee on more expensive real estate sales. Sellers of higher-priced properties have often made large gains as a result of fast-rising home prices and they are typically best able to afford a higher fee.

Several proposals in the Massachusetts legislature would allow cities and towns to choose to collect an additional real estate transfer fee on the sale of more expensive homes. Typically, proposals would dedicate the money to supporting affordable housing in these communities.

The following downloadable, interactive Excel dashboard provides data for each of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns on how much revenue a community could raise this way. It provides data on the sales of expensive real estate in each municipality. It also estimates the money that would be collected, depending on the price threshold for the fee and its rate.

You can select the following:

  1. Municipality (name of city or town)
  2. Sales Price Threshold (for example, sales over $1,000,000)
  3. Rate of the Transfer Fee (for example, 1% of sale price)

Sales data are for 2021, and figures are in 2021 dollars.


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