YOUR OPINION: Amendment 3 deserves support

Dear Editor:

Amendment 3 is a citizen initiative appearing on the Nov. 2 general election ballot. It would amend the Missouri Constitution to prevent double taxation on homes and other properties by barring transfer taxes on real estate transactions. Because Missourians already pay property taxes on real estate, a new transfer tax would amount to unfair double taxation. The Vote Yes to Stop Double Taxation campaign is under way to remove the temptation among politicians to impose transfer taxes to generate new revenues.

In this tough economy, Missouri cannot afford to impose this new, unfair tax on property. Transfer taxes gobble equity that has been built up over generations and decades. And new transfer taxes would be layered on top of the federal death tax, which can decimate family estates and business enterprises built up over many years.

In 37 other states and the District of Columbia, a transfer tax is imposed by state or local governments, or both, and is collected when you transfer ownership of your home, land or other real estate. Missouri is among 13 states that do not impose such taxes. All of Missouri’s neighboring states impose some tax on real estate transactions.

Amendment 3 wording is simple and straightforward: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?”

More than 200,000 Missourians signed petitions to place Amendment 3 on the ballot, showing strong grassroots support for the measure sponsored by the more than 21,000 members of the Missouri Association of REALTORS. In addition to a growing coalition of supportive organizations, polls show about seven in 10 Missouri voters support prohibiting transfer taxes. By similar strong majorities, voters said they would have serious doubts about elected officials who didn’t share their support of Amendment 3.

To learn more about Amendment 3, visit the Vote YES to Stop Double Taxation campaign web site at www.YesToSaveHomes.com or contact your local REALTOR.

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