Homebuilders and Realtors Top Advocates for the Poor?

Today's N&O reports Chatham County is trying to get authorization to add a land transfer tax to help pay for growth. Most growing counties in the state are wanting some kind of impact/transfer tax/fee to help handle the costs associated with growth.

What I find interesting, but no longer surprising, is how the realtors and homebuilders are always right on top of things talking about how much these new fees and taxes will hurt "working families," etc.

Imposing taxes on new and existing homes will hurt working families by making homes less affordable," said Tim Kent, executive vice president of the Realtors Association.

How come we don't hear cries about this from groups who actually care about affordable housing. Nobody from Habitat ever speaks up. Nobody from the other groups speaks up. I guess they sit back and let the homebuilders and realtors go on with their own tireless fight for the working class. After all builders and realtors always voluntary include affordable housing in their big new subdivisions, don't they? If cities didn't have affordable housing mandates in place, the developers would still build a certain proportion of affordable housing out of the goodness of their hearts, right?

Their concern for "working families" only goes as far as they think is serves their bottom line. They don't want anything that will delay or slow growth down for 5 minutes or raises costs by even a percent. Yes, there are good builders and realtors who do the right thing, but you're not going to find their associations working towards any common good other than their own.


I don't know much about land transfer taxes....

...but I'm at the point where if the Realtor's Associations are for them, I think I'm against them. I don't like that kind of reactionary thinking in anyone, least of all in myself, but there you have it.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Good post SP,


Have you decided if you're going to join the BlueNC women in Seagrove on the 17th?

Lcloud, where have you been?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.Progressive Discussions My Blog at


I'm a male- not a BlueNC woman.

Really? For some reason I have always thought

you were a woman...oh well, so much for my discerning skills!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

My Blog at The Pilot online

Well, I did take a male

Well, I did take a male bashing Women's Studies, class in college, so perhaps it helped me be able to keep my chest pounding behavior to a minimum. :-)

Linky Goodness

Unique sent me some interesting links on the subject. Only one worked- I'm working on the other.

The first article is a bit complicated in that it studies impact fees under certain zoning and market conditions. At the very least it shows that impact fees are not "always" bad for affordable housing and can, in fact, help things.

Full article
From the abstract:

Development impact fees may create more housing opportunities for lower income households within suburban areas if there is a fiscal incentive behind the adoption of exclusionary land use regulations. Using panel data estimation techniques that allow us to control for unobservable heterogeneity and potential endogeneities, we estimate the effects of different types of impact fees on multifamily housing construction using data from Florida counties. Impact fees earmarked for public services other than for offsite water and sewer system improvements are found to expand the stock of multifamily housing construction within inner suburban areas.

It isn't always REALTORS

It's the associations. I know a lot of realtors and agents/brokers who don't agree with everything the associations stand for or promote.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


The ASSOCIATIONS are bastions of conservative double speak.
Their actual members often span a pretty large section of the population.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Oh.....you were fine

I was just making that point as a reminder since we all have a friend and frequent commenter here in the real estate business. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Hot Point

My biggest beef with realtors, developers, and their associations is their use of 'scare tactics' like: "These proposed recommendations could cut property value in half".

Yes, dear, and an asteroid could crash into Johnston County tomorrow. Neither are very likely.

Smart, well planned growth causes propety values to rise. And just like granny used to tell you - they're not making any more land.

My second irksome moment comes from 'no, no, no, we can't do that' but never an alternative idea to the problems we face - only status quo and go, go, go.

Good planning and fiscal responsibility are good for everyone. Adversarial relationships divert time, money, and talent and benefit no one.

That's the frustrating part

Smart, well planned growth causes propety values to rise. And just like granny used to tell you - they're not making any more land.

Well-done growth is a win-win, but too many fail to look that far down the road. They just want to cash in and go on to the next town down the road.

It's funny. Here in Moore County we have a lot of people retiring here who don't want to let anyone else in. When developers cry about how new regulations and taxes will ruin their business, so many here say, "that's a great idea." Retirees vote at awesome rates too, so the developers can't really make too big of a fuss without getting backlash. The best they can do is whimper a bit about affordable housing which actually is a problem here but is caused as much by the developers as much anyone else.

If I Were a Rich Man -

'Selfish Unique' would say, "Good. Stop growth completely. I like it the way it is now."

But I'm not now, nor have I ever been a selfish person. I realize that growth is not going to stop - probably not ever - short of some sort of holocaust.

So 'Rational Unique' says, 'Don't be part of the problem - be part of the solution.'

uh oh ....

I'm on somebody's, or several somebody's, crap list.

My humble apologies to any whom I have offended in a few of my recent posts. I have no doubt that the rhetorical shoe I fashioned and meant for "some" doesn't fit all.

I've had a few personal conversations with a couple of realtors since then. They allowed as how they didn't appreciate what I wrote and I allowed as how I didn't appreciate being told my concerns don't matter because I am not a "stakeholder." I'm not exactly sure we came to a complete eye-to-eye on the subject matter -- I'm still a bit surprised and bothered by aspersions cast my way due to my economic status, but I'll accept that I may have pushed a line or two enough to warrant an apology in general.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

You on anyone's crap list?

NEVER! We love you too much and we understand where you were coming from and what you meant.

Outrage can cause you to generalize where you really don't mean to... a lot of us are guilty of doing it. I know I am. You see, my anger at Robin Hayes has led me to generalize that all men named Robin Hayes with a portfolio valued over $55 million are complete and absolute, stupid, moronic imbeciles. I apologize to all of the other men named Robin Hayes with $55 million portfolios that I might have insulted.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I know realtors who don't fit the shoe

but they are few and far between. More to the point, where are these so-called "independent-minded real estate professionals" when the shit hits the fan? Nowhere to be seen.

If they're not part of the solution, they're part of the problem. Screw 'em.

I think

That many of them are independent but not politically active. that is WHY their associations are so republican. they are dominated by the crazies.

instead of condeming them we should try to involve them in the process.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Good to know


I've Said It Before -

And I'll say it again.

If you aren't part of the solution - you're part of the problem.

Either you stand up for all citizens or you stand for yourself.

Me - I'll always call it like I see it. If I think someone is being short sighted I'll tell them so. If you think I'm wrong - prove it.

Yes, but you don't get to dictate what being part

of the solution means. I don't require that every Realtor/agent/broker speak out against the Association in order to prove their progressive bona fides. I look at their actions as a whole instead of judging or dismissing them as a person because of their profession.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

People Who Say No -

without offering any suggestions are not part of the solution.

It's easy to say no. It's not hard to go on line searching for information; it's not hard to talk to people to gather ideas.

If all you can do is say, 'No' - without stating anything you could say, 'Yes' to - that's a problem.

'Dictate' - odd choice of words. I've never told anyone they had to do anything. I will say if all you have to say is, 'No' - get ready to be called on it.

'Judging' is also an odd choice of words. I can only go by what people say and do. If words show up in the news with quotes around them, I have to believe the paper has enough integrity to get them correct.

Que sera, sera.

Another Link

From Unique

Full Text

Highlights from the conclusion:

...A major criticism of impact fees is that by acting as a development tax they reduce home construction, especially within the small home market.

...Our results strongly contradict conventional wisdom, as well as prior empirical evidence,regarding the effects of impact fees on housing construction... ...Our results suggest that, at least in part, the desire to exclude low income housing from the suburbs is fiscal in nature. Impact fees decrease the fiscal deficit imposed on existing residents by new development, allowing more affordable homes to be built within suburban areas.