Transfer taxes in Md. are fifth-highest in U.S., study finds


January 19, 2003|By Trif Alatzas

Maryland homebuyers and sellers pay some of the highest costs in the country when it comes to taxes on real estate sales, according to a Realtor survey.

The average state and local real estate transfer taxes in Maryland total $2,210, the fifth-highest in the nation, according to a recent study by the Maryland Association of Realtors.

Those costs include the state's 0.5 percent transfer tax on home purchases along with local transfer taxes that reach as high as 1.5 percent in some jurisdictions.

Payment of those fees typically is split between buyers and sellers.

Maryland's state transfer tax ranks 10th-highest in the nation. Thirty states charge transfer taxes on real estate.

The Realtors' group estimates the tax generated $65 million last year through property sales.

The annual study focuses on the real estate industry's contribution to the Maryland's economy and is used by the Realtors' group to lobby state and local lawmakers. This marks the second time the group has undertaken the survey.

The study also found that Maryland's real estate industry contributes almost 15 percent of the gross state product - more than $27 billion - through a combination of income and taxes. About 32,000 work in the industry.


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