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(Updated October 2012)

Real estate transfer taxes are state and local taxes that are assessed on real property when ownership of the property is transferred between parties. Although proponents say real estate transfer taxes are necessary to help fund state services, opponents view them as an unwarranted tax on home sales. The articles and studies in this Field Guide examine what transfer taxes are and their impacts on the real estate market, and provide resources on current transfer tax laws and initiatives. (H. Hester, Information & Digitization Specialist)

E – EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Transfer Tax Basics

The fight against transfer taxes, (HouseLogic.com, Oct. 2010).

Real estate transfer taxes, (National Conference of State Legislatures, Sept. 2012). – Table describing the real estate transfer tax and tax rate for each state.

Transfer Taxes, (NAR State Issues Tracker, 2012). – After signing-in, select Transfer Taxes from the menu on the left for information on transfer tax laws in each state.

Recent Transfer Tax Initiatives

Oregon Real Estate Transfer Tax Amendment, Measure 79 (2012), (Ballotpedia.org).

Oregon Realtors initiative to ban real estate transfer fees makes November ballot, (The Oregonian, June 8, 2012).

Political advocacy: Louisiana victory about more than just transfer taxes, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2012).

Transfer tax victory in Louisiana, (NAR – Voices of Real Estate, Dec. 2, 2011).

Louisiana Immovable Property Tax, Amendment 1 (2011), (Ballotpedia.org).

Missouri Real Estate Taxation, Amendment 3 (2010), (Ballotpedia.org).

Impacts of Transfer Taxes

Mansion tax: The effect of transfer taxes on residential real estate market, (Columbia University, Oct. 2012).

The effects of land transfer taxes on real estate markets: Evidence from a natural experiment in Toronto, (University of Toronto, Feb. 2011).

Economic analysis of the real estate transfer tax in North Carolina, (Jud & Associates, Feb. 2009).

Potential impacts of increases in real estate transfer taxes, (NAR Research, Aug. 2003).

Books, eBooks & Other Resources

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Potential Impacts of Increases in Real Estate Transfer Taxes, (Washington, DC: National Association of REALTORS®, 2003). HJ 4120 N21pi

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges

Field Guide to Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs)

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.