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WBUR - Boston Councilors Eye Real Estate Transfer Tax To Boost Affordable Housing

WBUR  Boston Councilors Eye Real Estate Transfer Tax To Boost Affordable Housing

Boston city councilors have introduced a new transfer tax on property sales — a funding source they say would raise hundreds of millions each year to boost the construction of affordable housing.

The proposal from East Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards would allow the city to place a tax of up to 6 percent on all real estate transactions over $2 million.

Edwards opened a hearing on the initiative at City Hall Tuesday saying despite an array of city programs to build affordable housing, more funding is needed.

“The resources aren’t there to fully maximize all of those programs to the extent that we need to be sure that this city is affordable,” Edwards said. “We are struggling to keep people in our communities."

The proposal would also look to discourage house-flipping, with an up to 25 percent tax on properties sold more than once within a two-year period.

Edwards’ real estate transfer tax was met with stiff opposition by representatives of the region’s real estate interests.

updated: 5 months ago