Mass. transfer fee for big real estate deals to get push next week

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A group of Massachusetts lawmakers, local elected officials and housing advocates plan to launch a new coalition next week to advocate for real estate transfer fee legislation.

The group — Reps. Dylan Fernandes of Falmouth, Liz Malia of Jamaica Plain and Mike Connolly of Cambridge, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, Ken Beaugrand of the Nantucket Realtor Association and Marc Draisen of the Metro Area Planning Council — scheduled a Statehouse press conference for Jan. 8 to discuss bills that would allow cities and towns to impose a fee of up to 2% on large real estate transactions to fund workforce and affordable housing.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh on Dec. 16 signed a home rule petition that would allow the city to implement a transfer fee of up to 2% on the purchase price of any private real estate sale over $2 million, if approved by the Legislature.

Speakers at the press conference plan to highlight bills filed by Fernandes (H 2457), Connolly (H 1769) and Malia (H 2552), according to Fernandes' office. Though the language is not identical, the three bills all would allow municipalities to levy transfer fees of up to 2%. A Fernandes aide said the coalition has been working to draft compromise language.

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