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Mass. governor proposes real estate transfer fee hike for climate resiliency projects

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Mass. governor proposes real estate transfer fee hike for climate resiliency projects

Opposed by real estate and trade groups, plan could generate $1 billion in next decade.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | February 1, 2019
Boston, Mass.

Courtesy Pixabay

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has proposed hiking the state’s real estate transfer fee by 50% to fund climate resiliency projects.

The plan would raise more than $1 billion in the next decade for projects to make cities and towns more resilient to the effects of climate change. The popular Republican governor’s plan has encountered resistance from real estate industry leaders and trade groups.

Baker’s plan would add nearly $1,200 in taxes to the sale of a $500,000 home, with the costs paid by the seller. The increase would raise from $130 million to $150 million annually toward a Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund that cities and towns could tap through grants, loans, and other means for local projects.

Baker said that there is no other program that will raise the funds needed to deal with the intensity and frequency of storms as the effects of climate change increase.

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