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1% Land Transfer Tax

By Lil Lillienthfield
Posted Friday, May 20, 2005

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Mr. Harris seems frustrated that he cannot find the answer to his question. So, let's indulge in a little basic logic here.

The School Impact Fee (SIF) was recently increased for both homes and apartments. Actually, the BOC could have raised it more but did not. The increase will add funds to the severely lacking SIF fund balance, but not in amounts nor in time to alleviate the pressing school needs facing Chatham County. Remember that the SIF is paid one time each home, mobil home, or apartment community is built.

Remember all those mobile classrooms we are using, the over crowding, the needed school renovations, not to mention, the new schools Chatham County needs now? Do you think these needs will increase as more children and their parents take up residence here?

The 1% Land Transfer Tax (LTT) is a recurring tax that is paid each time a piece of property is transferred. The resultant funds will go into the General Fund of Chatham County. The same fund from which the above enumerated school needs are funded. Because the LTT will accrue funds more rapidly it is reasonable to assume that the General Fund will have more revenue with which to fund not only the school needs but the additional infrastructure that is needed in this county now as well as will be required in the future as our County grows.

Now to your question Mr. Harris. If the SIF remains in place and the General Assembly approves the LTT, it is reasonable to think the SIF would be rolled back to it's previous amount, or perhaps lowered, or possibly done away with all together. That is conjecture on my part. Unless and until the LTT is approved you don't really expect the BOC to commit to steps that would irrevocably effect the SIF do you?

I will say, never at any time have I heard or read anything where Commissioners Barnes or Cross indicated that they favor imposing both the SIF and the LTT on the citizens of Chatham County. If you will check Mike Cross' website you will find in his April 8, 2005 that he specifically states the LTT will negate the need for the SIF. This same information has been included in handouts provided to the Chatham County Home Builders Assn. His position is well known. In fact Barnes and Cross favor the LTT, not only because of the reasons enumerated above, but because it is more fair to the affordable housing industry/users than the SIF because the SIF is the same regardless of the price, size, or kind of home that is being built.

In the event the LTT is approved, do you really think the remaining BOC members would favor imposing both the SIF and the LTT on the Chatham County residents when they are up for reelection in 2006?

So, the answer to your question, from a little basic logic and my point of view is, no we will not be paying both the SIF and LTT in Chatham County.

Support the 1% Land Transfer Tax!

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