Housing bill introduced to reduce transfer tax for first-time homebuyers

The General Assembly on Tuesday introduced a bill to exempt first-time homebuyers from a recent increase in the realty transfer tax. 

Lawmakers raised the tax from 3 to 4 percent last summer in order to balance the budget. The tax is split equally between buyers and sellers,

This bill would exempt buyers who have never owned a home from the paying the additional one percent. The exemption only applies for the first $400,000 of the purchase.

Republican and Democratic legislators support the bill.

Another housing-related bill will cross Gov. John Carney’s desk this week. Introduced in early 2017, the bill would amp up the punishment for home improvement fraud by tethering the criminal sentence to the value of the loss suffered by the victim. This would remove the current $1,500 cap on fraud charges.

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