Tools for Fighting Transfer Taxes

NYSAR guide for local boards fighting real estate transfer taxes

Welcome to the NYSAR online headquarters to assist your board’s fight against a local real estate transfer or mortgage recording tax.  Via the links below you will find general information regarding local real estate transfer and mortgage recording taxes, where they’re currently being proposed and what communities may be next.  In addition, the site provides local REALTOR boards with tools and resources for launching their own campaigns to fight these taxes.

Issue Summary

New York real estate transactions are among the highest taxed in America.  In recent years, county, town and city governments have been gaining new revenues by adding local real estate transaction taxes to the long established state levies.  NYSAR and local REALTORS boards have been leaders in the fight to educate voters that such taxes are unfair and unnecessary.

REALTORS have argued that real estate transfer taxes can take equity from families selling their homes and raise overall housing costs for buyers. In 2007 alone, a minimum of 15 municipalities passed local legislation to request state permission to collect a real estate tax.  NYSAR views this as a direct attack on housing affordability and commercial real estate investment.  To combat these tax proposals, NYSAR is helping educate and organize local boards on how to fight back.

According to state law, local governments that wish to impose an additional real estate tax (transfer or mortgage recording) must first receive approval from the New York State Legislature and governor.  If approved by state lawmakers, often these proposals must also be approved by local voters via referendum.  This process gives REALTORS opportunities to fight these proposals at three different levels – at the local government, in Albany and, if necessary, at the polls. 

Local REALTOR organizations are encouraged to take advantage of resources available on this site in order to fight local real estate transaction tax proposals on the local level including talking points against transfer taxes, the assistance of the NYSAR Government Affairs Department and the financial resources of the NYSAR’s Issues Mobilization Fund.

In addition to this online resource, the NYSAR Government Affairs Department is available to assist you.  Please call 518-463-0300 ext. 217 or e-mail


Financial resources in fighting against transfer taxes

Communication resources for fighting against a transfer tax

Additional resources on transfer taxes

Who supports transfer taxes for “community preservation?

If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact NYSAR’s Government Affairs Department at or 518-463-0300, ext. 217.

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