Real Property Transfer Tax revenues ebb and flow with the housing market. Throughout the East Bay, the tax has generated robust revenue streams in recent years. And with signs the housing market is beginning to hum and stagnant revenues in Hayward, the city moved Tuesday to place a ballot measure on the November ballot asking residents to increase what is currently the lowest transfer tax among Alameda County charter cities.
The transfer tax increase could generate more than $7 million annually in new revenues during a time when Hayward’s city finances continue to struggle.
The council, however, declined to ask voters to increase the Transient Occupancy Tax, also known as a hotel tax. The proposed tax was estimated to generate roughly $800,000 in new revenues.
A majority of the council believed another tax measure ran the risk of overburdening voters. The Hayward Unified School District is also planning to place a bond measure on the November ballot at their meeting on July 25.
Real transfer taxes are paid after the sale of residential and commercial properties. Hayward’s current rate is just $4.50 per $1,000 of property value. Voters will decide whether to increase the rate to $8.50.
Revenues would be allocated to the General Fund. Approval from a simple majority of Hayward voters is required for passage this fall.
The proposed rate would still rank near the bottom half of Alameda County charter cities that charge a Real Property Transfer Tax. Only charter cities can approve increases in the rate.
Oakland and Berkeley assess a $15 fee; Piedmont charges $13, while in Emeryville and Alameda it’s $12. San Leandro’s transfer tax, meanwhile, is $6.
Hayward Councilmember Mark Salinas registered the lone opposition to placing the transfer tax on the ballot, asserting it disproportionately hurt buyers and sellers, in particular, young families looking to buy their first home in Hayward.
For an $500,000 home, buyers would be assessed roughly $2,000 more in Real Property Transfer Taxes, if the ballot measure is approved, said the city.
I respectfully disagree. Measure T and affordable housing are related but not obverse. The taxes raised from this measure would, in part, be used for costs associated with building affordable and low income housing. I have watched enough council meetings on Tuesday evenings to say that the Council cares very much about affordable and low income housing.
So the council’s polling showed that 50-80 year olds were highly favorable to the RPTT tax, so of course Halliday and her lemmings eager to stay in good favor with older white voting demographic, and the mayor for future favors in elections voted for it. Where are the suppossed ardent and vociferous affordable housing activists on the council? I guess it is an example of big talk but not willing to cross mother superior Halliday in their voting? Are 50-80 years olds the demographic of folks who will be trying to buy all of these new homes they are buiding like wildfire in Hayward? NO! IF they are seekinga tax base that is younger, hopefully more long term, how does adding a 2k or more tax help in trying to buy in one of the already most expensive markets in the country?? Kudos to Salinas who is trying to look our for a much wider base of voters in Hyaward and actually thinking about the future of Hayward, not being trained seals who jump at the beckoining of mother superior.