Updated: Two Time Losers

Losers of the week: The NC Senate and the NC Association of Realtors

The NC Senate is rapidly becoming indistinguishable from Rodney Dangerfield in the respect department. First Mike Easley slams the chamber for being in the pocket of special interests, and so does the Wilmington Star on its editorial page.

Now you know who most North Carolina state senators represent. It isn't property taxpayers. If it were, a majority of the Honorables would let local voters decide whether to increase a tiny one-time tax on land sales to pay for the schools, sewers, water systems, law enforcement and other basic services that growth requires.

The most likely alternative to that tax on property sales is higher property taxes - taxes that every property owner pays every year, whether or not he or she benefits significantly from growth.

People who do benefit significantly, such as real-estate agents and contractors, have been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on "campaign contributions," lobbying and deceptive political ads. Their goal is to prevent local voters from choosing how to raise money to pay for local needs.

The campaign against what opponents cleverly call the "home tax" succeeded in the Senate. In a secret meeting, the Democrats who dominate that body gave in to pressure.

In one fell swoop, the reputation of two institutions have been dirtied by the realtors' involvement in the transfer tax issue. The Senate is revealed to be a bunch of lemmings at best, and prostitutes at worst. And Tim Kent has tarnished the Realtor brand in North Carolina for years to come.

It so stupid it's almost funny, but not quite. The truth is, it's a sad commentary on how politics gets done in our esteemed General Assembly. All I can say is, "Thank god for Joe Hackney."

Update: Chris at NC Policy Watch weighs in on the same topic, adding Dallas Woodho and the NC Chapter of Americans for Progress to his list of skewered targets. Nice job, Chris.

Comments

I find this subject to be almost hysterical !

My significant other is a practicing Real Estate Broker, and thinks this is ridiculous! I have my real estate license, but am a software consultant and am not practicing. We both know that this is a matter for voters and both of us know it will make no difference in the sales of homes in the future.

People move into and out of homes every day. They will continue to do so, no matter what.

Do you think there are many people out there getting all worked up after they have decided on their first home purchase, or their dream home purchase, or their retirement home purchase that are actually concerned about this? If you do, you are likely incorrect.

The people of this State can stop the debate on this issue if they are given a chance to chime in with their thoughts on this issue, via their personal decision on a ballot.

In the end, homes will be bought, homes will be sold and life will go on as if nothing ever happened.

I'm amazed at the Realtors association for even caring about this debate.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Im just glad my county has this tax!

What is wrong with the people deciding if we want a TAX?
If its bad, we will say NO to it.....simple.

TAX ME TAX ME...when have you ever heard people asking to be taxed?

I love this tax. Its free money to the county to help fix long term infrastructure problems.

How can our reps not know this. Are they that stupid to think this is bad?

All they have to do is look at the exploding market in camden, paskotank and currituck counties. They all have this TAX yes, TAX and they are growing. And we have additional money to help eleviate the overall burden of growth!

in order to do what the realators are saying, the folks from VA who are moving into NC from VA BEACH would have to go all the way to Bertie county before they found the first county that was not a transfer tax county. thats going thru camden, paskotank, perquimans, chowan then TA DAAAAAA, bertie down RT 17. They aint getting to bertie.

They really aint getting to chowan......they are stopping at curritock, paskotank, perquimans...OOOOO WAIT, all those have transfer taxes. How stupid of me, none of those people are really there. OOOOOOO wait, I am not here living in my house because of this transfer tax, according to the realators.

HUMMMMM, if Im not mistaken, there is a 1500 housing unit being developed in paskotank and camden county on route 158 near morgans corners......all those houses will never sell because of TRANSFER TAX....yea right. Just like Albermarle Plantation in my county. They're moving to stage 2 or 3. More growth and these houses will start at the $500,000 and climb quickly. My county inspectors go 3 times a week for years down to the Plantation to take care of the high demand for houses being built in that complex. It is built into their schedule. All those houses are sold and OOOO MYYYYYYYYY, those people paid the TAX? O wait, the realators are saying noone is going to buy those houses. Thats right.

Was listening to a local radio station for Washington County, the county manager was on. He was selling this TRANSFER TAX and he made so much sense. Most of what has been said on BLUENC he said in a 15 min window. Washington county is one of the POOREST counties in this great state. I think they are in the bottom 5 or 6. He is pleading for this TAX and wishes for the opportunity that he sees the bordering county has for revenue generation and wishes to get that for his county. And our reps dont want to help them? If this tax would hurt a county, you think the county manager whould be selling it? You think the county commissioners would allow him to go on the radio and say how good it would be for the county? How it would help that poor county? How it would generate revenue? It was an open and frank discussion. The radio station is 95.9(?) the MAGIC of washington county. Local guy runs it. He has a weekly spot for many of the washington county reps to talk to the people. Very good information comes out on that station. It is smart information, not propaganda. Just straight info. Not politically biased.

Our reps are buying this crap from the realators?

The harder a lobbyiest group fights for something "for the people", the harder of a look I take at their stance. I have not seen to many items where a lobby actually was looking out for the masses. Mostly lobbyists look out only for a small group of people at the expense of the masses.

I've heard that the former County Commissioners Caucus

is one of the most powerful in Raleigh. I would think they would WANT to give some power back to people who are in the same position they used to be in, I would think they would support this bill.
But, power corrupts.
One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

By chance do you know their stance on the transfer tax?

I am sure they would know the pros and cons to this as they had to administer their county based on the money provided. Of all the people who would have an opionion, this group should be heard if they use facts and not opionions.

I do not see this as a power grab, just a good way of generating revenue for a county. Bad thing is you cannot count on this money being there as you cannot determine when and for how much someone will sell their property. Infrastructure always needs fixing and improvement. Even if I was the only person who bought a house in my county in 2003, because of me coming to my county, $1100 went to infrastructure improvements or fixes that would not have been made without me coming here. I only see good in that.

The Loser Dallas Woodhouse here

Hello, I am Dallas Woodhouse and I thought since you were attacking me I would respond directly. I am amazed that a group like yours stands with the North Carolina League of Municipalities.

Taxpayer money from across North Carolina is being abused by the North Carolina League of Municipalities and other groups funded by tax dollars.

These groups are using taxpayer funds to lobby and advertise for massive tax increases. Public resources should not be used to push a higher tax political agenda. No taxpayer in North Carolina, when they are required to pay their local and county taxes, has agreed to have their tax money used to pursue a political agenda of higher and more taxes.

And in what can only be considered a new low in hypocrisy, the misnamed Partnership for North Carolina’s Future is running taxpayer funded ads criticizing private groups like the North Carolina Association of Realtors and the NC homebuilders for fighting against a “vote”, when it is the League and its allies that fight letting the citizens of North Carolina vote on important issues.

The NC League of Municipalities which runs the Partnership is fighting to keep North Carolina citizens from having a vote on forced annexation. The NC League of Municipalities is fighting to keep people from having a vote on a constitutional amendment to stop eminent domain abuse.

The NC League of Municipalities has sunk to a new low in having the nerve to decry efforts to stop higher taxes while at the same time using taxpayer resources to block a vote to enshrine in the NC constitution protection for private property owners from the seizure and sale of their property for a non-governmental purpose.

You make find more of my thoughts at www.afpnc.org

While I do not agree with the views of this website, I know we all want what is best for the old North State and its people.

Tax payer funded?

Partnership for North Carolina’s Future is running taxpayer funded ads

Can you back this up, please?

While I do not agree with the views of this website, I know we all want what is best for the old North State and its people.

Websites don't have views. People do, and the people who read and post at this website have a wide range of views, but you're right - we all generally want what is best for the Old North State.

Peace.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Asking is not taxing

Requesting the right to vote on whether to use a transfer tax is not a "massive tax increase". On the contrary, a transfer tax will mitigate rising property taxes. Six counties use it successfully, one county chooses not to use it. The remaining 93 counties have to ask. Asking is called lobbying. You don't want them to have the right to ask.

AFP are anarchists with money who want to cripple government and saddle it with inefficiencies so they can turn around and decry its performance.

 
Stop the NC Association of Realtors

Polluting our State Legislature with money.

Odd he hasn't shown back up to defend himself.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Mr. Woodhouse

By reading your links, it appears that there are two issues here you have brought up. One is the transfer tax and one is my taxes paying for a lobbying group?

On the transfer tax. This money goes into a pool and is earmarked solely for infrastructure items. It cannot even buy gas for the school buses as that is operational expenses. Fundementally speaking, any tax is wrong, inappropriate etc, ONLY if the tax is imposed on a person without proper representation.

When this transfer tax is presented to the common person of each county in the form of a referandum or county bill for inclussion as a law of the county what is wrong with that? It is county driven. What we in Perquimans County vote will not effect you in any way. If your county is strong enough with your infrastructure that you dont need this transfer tax, more power to you. I highly suggest you review the tax structure of your county as your probably overtaxed. As for Perquimans County, this tax is not stifling growth, crippling our economy, hurting my bottom dollar or chasing folks away. This transfer tax by the way it is collected does minimal damage to the normal home buyer/seller. (I showed in a previous blog where the transfer tax on a 30 year loan is an increase of about $3/month on each $100,000 of the value of home at selling time). So where is it inappropriate for people to ask for this transfer tax?

What is wrong with this transfer tax? If your opposed to it because of the fundemental nature of taxation, ok. I can live with that view point.

If your opposed to it for anyother reason, please explain what is the dirty secret about this tax that I do not understand. I do not claim to be a scholor on this, but I do know that I am paying this $3/month and if im getting screwed I would like to know that.

On the issue of my taxes paying for lobbying your site did not show that. You did not have any links that show where this is happening. I despise lobbys and I despise people that try to abuse their political or monitary power to grow even bigger at my expense. Your site did not show any proof of this happening. I will not act on the words of people but on the proofs they present. Please show the proof of government using my money to support lobbyists.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

"Lobbying"

I think the League of Municipalities has every right to fight for a transfer fee if they want it. They are probably funded by state taxpayer dollars. So, they probably are using taxpayer money.

My question would be, what are they doing? This is the same situation the Clinton Presidency found itself up against during the health care debate. Private corporations spending millions (in that case hundreds of millions) on untruthful ads and public administration left with.....press conferences? Which the revenue generators won't run because their money comes from the same corporations opposing the press conferences.
One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Aren't you kind of avoiding the point?

Who cares what the NC League of Munic. is doing. We're talking about the unethical, immoral approach that Realtors have take to running our Senate. The Senate should represent all the people of North Carolina, not just those with big corporate coffers to spend on attack ads and opposition research during campaigns.

The action by the Realtors in this fight goes to show why we need public financing.

p.s. I assume that you will write an equally scathing post about BCBS NC, which has a large portion of its funds come from state-funded premiums, paid for by taxpayers like you and me. Yet, they lobby. They lobby like crazy. Are you in total agreement that it is unethical for North Carolina taxpayers to be funding lobbying by BCBS? And, we all know the farce that state money is kept "separate" is just that, a farce. Right?
One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

OK, it looks like you brought up a third point...

that of lobbyists.

I am a lobbyist. I am opposed to the building of an OLF at any of the 5 sites in NE North Carolina. I have talked with my rep and have talked with representitives of my gov, and both senators. I am directly impacted by this OLF. I have gone to DC, Raliegh and Greensville to chat and voice my view. I am who the politicians should be listening to. I am not a professional lobbying agency who are not impacted by what they are representing. My kind of lobbying is what is good in this country. I can stand on the lawn of our capital and explain my point of view. Because the people around me approve of what I am saying, they allow me to represent them.

Professional lobbyist groups on the other hand assume they represent me.

Politicians will listen to professional lobbyists because they assume these people represent xxxx number of folks. Politicians are afraid to oppose big lobbyists because they are afraid they will lose the next election. Politicans are not afraid of lobbyists like me. They should be.

Lobbyists are extremely scary because once they get to powerful, they must continue to fight for something else they lose the money. When they lose their money, they have to find work doing something else. professional Lobbyists (in my opionion) only lobby to keep the money coming in. With that said, do they know what is going on at the grass roots?

This is why I do not like professional lobbyists. They are only in it for the money and not the cause.

In your post,

North Carolina League of Municipalities, other groups, Partnership for North Carolina’s Future, North Carolina Association of Realtors', NC homebuilders League and its allies

Thats 5 groups and some are groups and allies. Gads. Did not know I was that important to have that many groups representing me.....NOOOOOOTTTTTTTT.

all these lobbyist groups where mentioned. Now how the heck could any politician work any kind of sense with that many groups hitting em? How are they going to digest what I have to say to them when they are trying to figure out what those groups are first saying to them.

None of those groups represent me. Yet they are in Raliegh helping make decisions. Paying for candidates political elections and in some cases using my money(?) to further their causes.

The easiest and best way to take care of these professional lobbyists is to not listen to them in the first place.

If you have to listen to them, they first must present both sides of the story. The pros and cons to what they are representing. If they are going to try to bias a politician, they should be required to give both sides of the story. This will allow the politician to have a better idea of just what is being asked of them. If what the professional lobbyist is after is just, then giving the other sides point should not be a problem. they have to write out exactly who they represent. And these presentations to our elected officals must be made public.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

"massive tax increase"

Transfer Tax - one time only good deal.

Property Tax - forever. Every year. Always going up.

Can no one see this?


One time vs. Forever

Much trueness to this

the seller is paying this transfer tax at the time of closing. In my case, $1100 went to my new county for infrastructure improvements. That was 3 years ago. Because this $1100 one time tax was imposed on the sale of my house, it was incorporated in the overall price of the loan I needed for this house. This included the lawyer fees, title searches, bug inspection etc. All these are one time fees that I am paying off in 30 years. All these are increasing the bottom line figure I pay a month.

So based on some arguements (and not Dallas's), the lawyers, bug people, county (two times) are taxing me or dipping into my pocket for money for the next 30 years. Dont think so. Dont confuse escrow accounts either.

Nooooooo, these are all one time fees. Just the manor in which I am paying for this for my convience is broking up into 360 payments streatching over 30 years. That is my choice and I am paying the loan company, not the county, lawyers, or anyone else.

This is an agreement I made with the loan company. We are both happy, or I would not be typing this in my house today!

It is a symantics issue about who is paying this tax.. The buyer or the seller. Well, as a buyer, I paid my seller the money she needed to pay this transfer tax. I am happy happy happy with where I am living.

Only good comes from this transfer tax. Nothing bad. I still have not seen an arguement where something BAD, horrible, terrible, cataclismic will befall the people with this inclusion of a transfer tax.

The state did not offset(?) or remove any money from my county because we have this transfer tax. For the full story, you might wish to ask Mr. Basnight that question. I truely do not know the answer nor know who or how to ask the question. However this would be the only bad thing with this entire subject because that then means that I am paying for infrastructure improvements on communities outside my county.

Root Causes and Issues

The error made was to grant perpetual citizenship to corporations. It from that single item that the hubris, the arrogance of unaccounable corporations, working for wealthy people, using lobbying and propaganda, not to mention arm twisting even in seller to consumer relations that we fashion our own chains and shackles. Many of the political and economic issues today result from total lack of corporate accountability, particularly when they have already infiltrated and bought legislators and executive branch members. In my opinion, NO corporation, profit or non, should be allowed to talk to the legislature unbidden, much less to bribe these officals to write legialation for corporations.

All the rest follows from this seizure of the courts, legislatures and executicutive offices by corporations. Oh, and did I forget tomention that corporations are absolutely infestations of pettifoggers (attorneys).

wafranklin