Regressive taxes won't lead to affordable housing

We agree with last week’s Banker & Tradesman editorial that affordable housing needs new sources of funding that can bring in enough money to actually make a difference – but advocating increased property taxes as the answer is completely wrongheaded (“Third Way Needed for Affordable Housing Money,” June 11, 2023).

Working- and middle-class families, public safety officials, the elderly, teachers, first-time buyers – all are being priced out of the market. The aim is to help them – not to add more regressive taxes to their burden.

What is not regressive and would actually make a difference is the adoption of transfer fees that would be added only to high-end real estate sales, and only if a community chose that option. Communities that adopt the fee can determine the threshold and the percentage, and for cities and towns with the worst problems, the fee can raise millions. Transfer fees are already working in many other states — the entire state of Vermont, for one — generating vital revenue.