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Delaware realty transfer tax must be lowered


Delaware has the highest state realty transfer tax in the nation. That means more cash changes hands at the settlement table. That means fewer of our citizens can afford a home. That means those selling a home have less equity to move forward themselves. And when that happens, our state’s economy takes a hit.

The Delaware General Assembly raised the state Realty Transfer Tax a full 1% in 2017 to counter a projected $400 million budget deficit. That 33% increase made Delaware’s state realty transfer tax — at 2.5% — the highest in the nation. Add to that the local transfer taxes, and individuals may have to pay as much as 4% of the property’s value at settlement — in cash. That is cash required to meet transfer taxes alone, over and above settlement costs, making it hard for Delawareans to own a home and ultimately dealing a blow to real estate market and our state’s economy.

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