Hamilton County residents will pay lower taxes when selling a home thanks to a vote from the Board of Commissioners Thursday.
County Administrator Jeff Aluotto says commissioners raised the real property transfer tax a few years ago amid budget problems.
"So the concept was to raise the transfer fee by a mil, which would produce roughly $4 million to assist with the county's budget issues at the time," Aluotto said.
A mil is about $1 per $1,000 of property value. On the sale of a $200,000 house, the change saves the homeowner about $200.
"We were in a tough time a few years ago with our budget and were really struggling," said Commissioner Denise Driehaus. "So we, in partnership with realtors and others in the industry, raised the fee knowing that if we could stabilize our budget that we would be able to roll this back. We made a commitment at that time — we are now honoring that commitment."
The budget is stable thanks to a quarter-cent sales tax originally established for Union Terminal renovations. Commissioners chose to make that temporary increase permanent. This is the first year the extra revenue is part of the general fund.
It's a relatively small decrease for individual residents, but Board President Stephanie Summerow Dumas says it's a win for the community.
"Anything we can do to reduce costs to our residents, that's what we want to do," she said.
The change goes into effect March 13.