From the Star Ledger:
One day after Gov. Chris Christie said he would abolish reality transfer fees in New Jersey if given the chance, a fellow Republican responded with a bill seeking to do just that.
State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) said today she will soon introduce legislation that would repeal the fees that residents have to pay when selling a home here.
“When you sell your home in New Jersey, you’re getting whacked by this arbitrary tax, and that’s wrong,” Allen said. “This initiative will help struggling homeowners, including those who might be facing short sales or foreclosures. It will save property owners across this state a burden of thousands of dollars, which particularly hurts those who have lost equity in their homes due to the economic recession.”
Allen plans to introduce the bill April 28.
The fees are the seventh-largest source of tax revenue for New Jersey. State officials have projected that they will produce $287 million in the current state budget and $325 million in the spending plan that takes effect in July.
At a town hall in Franklin Township in Somerset County on Tuesday, a retired state trooper told Christie that he was hit with a $5,435 realty transfer fee when he recently sold his house.
Christie responded by saying if the state Legislature sent him a bill eliminating the fees, he would be happy to sign it.
“A realty transfer fee? From my perspective, it makes no sense,” the governor said. “It’s awful. It should be done away with.”