(OREGON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, SALEM, OR )– Oregon’s Attorney General (AG) has ruled the Oregon Association of REALTORS® is appropriately using an assessment from its members to pay for an initiative petition campaign aimed at preventing a new tax on the cost of buying a home.
The AG’s decision gives the 14,000 member organization the green light to continue gathering signatures for its measure, proposed for the 2012 general election. That measure would prohibit local jurisdictions from imposing a real estate transaction tax on the sale or any other transfer of property.
“This effort has overwhelming support of the REALTORS® in Oregon and we were always confident we would prevail,” said Shaun Jillions, VP of Public Policy for the Oregon REALTORS®. “The irony is that the REALTORS® are using a dedicated fund to be as open as possible about how the money is being spent. We are grateful to the Attorney General and his staff for working with us to clear up any misunderstanding about the intended use of these funds.”
REALTORS® are pushing the effort in the wake of legislation that seeks to tax real estate transactions, such as HB2518, now pending before the Oregon House Revenue Committee.
REALTORS® in Oregon argue that raising the cost of a new home for families works against the long-held goal of increasing rates of home ownership. Studies have shown that communities with higher rates of homeownership also have lower rates of crime, better schools and stronger neighborhoods.
Chief Petitioner and Past Oregon REALTORS® President Art Kegler noted that a 2 percent transfer tax on $282,100 home, which is the average home price in Portland, would add $5,642 to the closing costs of that property. “That would be devastating for families and especially for first-time homebuyers,” Kegler said.
“Owning a home has always been a cornerstone of the American dream. Oregon REALTORS® hope to engage other Oregonians during the next year with a thoughtful debate about the value of home ownership.”
The Oregon Association of REALTORS® serves 14,000 members statewide. The Association was established in 1932 to organize the real estate profession in Oregon. Today, the Association is a force for education and a business and legislative advocate for free enterprise and private property rights in Oregon.