To the editor:
A coalition of groups in Kansas is currently working to repeal the tax charged by Kansas counties to record mortgages on real property (commonly known as the mortgage registration tax). Kansas is one of only nine states to levy this tax. The tax is based on the amount of the mortgage being recorded and is separate and apart from the recording fee (a flat fee designed to cover the costs of recording).
The mortgage tax is $2.60 per each thousand dollars of the mortgage amount, or $390 for a $150,000 mortgage. Borrowers not needing to obtain a mortgage to acquire real estate, obviously, are not subject to the tax. As a result, the tax discriminates against those who must borrow. Two neighbors purchasing identical homes pay different amounts in taxes simply because one can pay cash and the other needs to borrow.
At best, the tax creates an erratic source of income into the county general fund as revenue varies dramatically from year to year depending on the real estate/lending environment. The Kansas Bankers Association is part of the coalition working to repeal the mortgage tax and we support their efforts.