In Massachusetts, nothing is certain except death, taxes and new fees.

A group of lawmakers on Beacon Hill is considering a transfer tax fee to raise revenue to build affordable housing. Representatives Dylan Fernandez of Falmouth, Liz Malia of Jamaica Plain, Mike Connolly of Cambridge and other elected officials and affordable housing advocates plan to set in motion a new coalition next week to crusade for real estate transfer fee legislation.

A transfer tax is a tax on the passing of title to property from one person to another. The idea is to create a law that would empower cities and towns to impose a transfer tax fee on home sales of over one million dollars to support affordable housing.

Nothing is set in stone, but generally speaking, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund would impose a fee between 0.5 percent and two percent of the purchase price of real property, with exceptions and exemptions, as always.

There are three bills – H2457, H1769, and H2552 – and though the language is not the same, the three bills all would allow municipalities to levy transfer fees of up to two percent.

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

This state is perpetually finding ways to extract money from us. This is part of the reason people are moving to Florida and other states with fewer taxes and fees.

Anyway, we'll find out more about this next week with a scheduled press conference on Wednesday, January 8 at 11 a.m.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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