Mayor Walsh Supports Fee On Real Estate Sales Over $2 Million

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. (Getty Images)

BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s mayor wants to impose a fee on the purchase price of any private real estate sale over $2 million in the city to pay for affordable housing.

Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh said Monday that after months of working with the City Council, he signed a home rule petition that would give Boston the ability to implement a transfer fee of up to two percent on the purchase price of any private real estate sale over $2 million.

The proposal needs legislative approval.

If approved, the cost of the fee would be split between the purchaser and seller. The funding generated would go to the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund or would be appropriated through the annual budget process to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the city.

Walsh said in a statement that housing is the “biggest economic challenge facing the residents of Boston and people across the region,” and it’s critically important to support the creation of affordable homes, while also preserving the existing housing stock.

Based on average sales in the county, estimates show that a 1% fee on all private-market sales would have raised $84 million annually over the last decade and a 2% fee would have generated more than $168 million, according to Walsh’s office. That analysis, however, looked at all properties sold, not just those with a value over $2 million.

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