Great Barrington considers real estate transfer fee on million dollar homes
Heather Bellow reports in The Berkshire Eagle that the Great Barrington Select Board will vote on taxing all home and commercial real estate sales over $1 million more than other homes. The proposal would add a one percent "real estate transfer fee" for sales of over $1 million in Great Barrington. But Select Board Vice Chair Leigh Davis said it would be year's away. First, the board needs to hold a public hearing on the issue, then the board would vote to bring the issue to town voters next May. Davis said Great Barrington needs the money to help with the affordable housing crisis locally. Davis said, “The displacement of longtime locals and our workforce continues.... If this isn’t a call to action, I don’t know what is.” A Washington Post analysis showed that last year 45 percent of homes bought in Great Barrington, Egremont, and New Marlborough were paid for with cash. If everyone locally approves the proposal, the Massachusetts governor would also have to sign off on the measure. Read more about this story in The Berkshire Eagle.