Letters to the Editor

Letter: Repeal mortgage tax

December 13, 2013


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.


Abdu Omar 1 year, 11 months ago

There are many things in the mortgage closing that isn't fair. Another one is the amount charged by title companies for title insurance. The fees are way too much, especially in a refinance where they have already paid a hefty fee when they purchased the property. Upon purchase, the title company does a search to ensure ownership, that there are no liens on the property or any encumbrances. Then when a person comes to refinance, the title company already has established ownership and that is the refinancers. So then, it takes a short visit to the county to determine if there are liens, mechanical and otherwise. But can cost is $700 or more depending upon the price of the home. Quite unfair.

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 11 months ago

Find me one person who has ever walked away from a $150,000 home purchase because they were $350 short at closing and I'll agree that the tax has a negative effect on the market. As for a potential to be regressive, remember that cash sale homes don't run the risk of foreclosing and that foreclosures have destroyed the real estate market values. Therefore, the government collecting a tax in scenarios that present great risk to the market seems reasonable to me.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

If this tax is repealed any suggestions as to how this tax revenue can be replaced? That's the question that should always come up when a tax is repealed….. unfortunately.

Considering the economy is still quite slow overall what other tax,user fee etc etc etc should be increased to cover the loss?

Beator 1 year, 11 months ago

It's not the government's money to begin with. How is it a "loss"?

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 11 months ago

I do love that asking the government to spend less money doesn't even register as an option to you, "Richard".

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