Independence Day is Tuesday. The day we Americans celebrate our victory of winning our independence as a nation separate from Great Britain. This gives us cause to celebrate nearly a quarter century after the signing of the declaration. Dependence is defined as; “the quality or state of not being under the control of, reliant on, or connected with someone or something else.” For those fortunate enough to make a break from a landlord this feeling can be near euphoric.
Many of we Realtors share in the excitement as we help our buyer clients achieve their independence from landlords or help our seller clients become independent from properties they no longer want or need. It always feels good to help someone better their situation. A lot of our independence here in Idaho — when it comes to property rights — is at the credit of Idaho Realtors. Many of us contribute portions of our commissions to the Realtor’s Political Action Committee annually to affect political influence when it comes to threats to your independence.
For example did you know that in neighboring Washington’s Spokane County you will pay a 1.78 percent excise tax for the privilege of selling your property? For our average $300,000 home sale then $5,340 would be assessed as a tax to the seller if your Idaho Realtors didn’t fight to prevent it. Another annual effort to tax transactions in Idaho is to place a sales tax on services which would include real estate transactions. For brokers that could mean a 6 percent tax on Realtor commissions.
Another interpretation of this sales tax on services compounds the expense this way; the company that digs the hole for the foundation would have to pay 6 percent of its contract price to the state. The contractor who installs the foundation would pay 6 percent of their agreed price to the state. Those carpenters who frame and finish the exterior of the home would pay 6 percent as would those who provide plumbing, windows, floor coverings, paint and cabinets. If all these things were taxed who do you think would pay in the end? Of course.
You, the buyer of the home who feels this euphoria of freedom and the independence of owning your own home and building wealth through its appreciation, would feel less free if burdened by these additional taxes which would likely put your American dream further out of reach.
Idaho Realtors who contribute to RPAC are your militia defending your independence to own and enjoy and to freely exchange your real property. Ask your agent if they’re in the fight to keep you free from unnecessary taxes. If they aren’t ask them why.
Enjoy this holiday and celebrate your independence safely.
Trust an expert….call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.
Kim Cooper is a real estate Broker and the Spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Kim and the Association invite your feedback and input for this column. You may contact them by writing to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, 409 W. Neider, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 or by calling 208-667-0664