Ashe County residents, please come out to the polls and vote “Yes!” to the Land Transfer tax on May 6th. Ashe County Revenue must be increased to support governmental expenditures on necessities such as our public library, schools, and our sheriff’s office. According to the Ashe County Commissioners, revenue will either be increased as the Land Transfer Tax, or as a general property or sales tax increase.
As a resident, unless you frequently buy and sale land, the Land Transfer Tax will effect you very little, if at all. The two alternatives, a general property tax increase or a sales tax increase, will effect each of you very much. A general property tax increase will effect you every year and a sales tax increase will effect you everyday.
The Land Transfer Tax does not effect property transfers involving inheritance, or land gifts. For example, if you inherit the family farm, this tax does not apply to that transfer. Or if your grandparent gives you some land to build on, the Land Transfer tax does not apply. The land transfer tax will apply to sales of Ashe County property, 80% of which are to people outside the county, often for second homes. It only applies one time to each purchase, and is a relatively small amount, for example $400 on a $100,000 property sale. The land transfer tax would effect the buyers only one time, whereas the alternative, a general property tax increase, would effect the buyer every year that he or she owns the property. The other alternative, a sales tax increase, will effect every Ashe County resident. However, it will actually be harder on the full-time residents, as residents with second homes in Ashe would only be paying sales taxes for the months they are in the county.
The NC Association of Realtors is opposed to the Land Transfer Tax because they are concerned it may slow the sale of real estate. Unlike the average Ashe County resident, they do buy and sale real estate everyday. It is their livelihood and property and sales taxes for them are a drop in the bucket compared to the commission they receive from one sale of “high dollar” mountain property. Please ignore the negative signs put out by this organization regarding the Land Transfer Tax and realize it is in your best interest to vote for it.
As Ashe County residents, taxes are going to be increased for us one way or the other--either through the Land Transfer Tax which would effect the Ashe County residents very little or not at all, or as a general property or sales tax increase, which would effect all Ashe County residents every year or every day. Please, keep our general property taxes and sales taxes affordable for all Ashe County residents by voting YES to the Land Transfer Tax.