Dome: Realtors ready to fight over real estate transfer tax

jfrank@newsobserver.comFebruary 4, 2013 

The N.C. Association of Realtors are sending a message to Republican lawmakers considering a tax overhaul: Don’t hike the real estate transfer tax.

Senate Republicans put the item on the table in the debate. And now the association is responding with a new web video that signals it is prepared to fight the tax plan if the transfer tax is included.

The association is trying to fight the transfer tax and a sales tax on home purchases by labeling it a “tax on home ownership,” just as they did in 2007 when lawmakers considered the issue. “Houses are beginning to move on the market,” Patrice Willets, the association’s president. “So public policy makers in Raleigh should be careful not to assess new taxes that could threaten the real estate industry and push our state back into a recession.”

“Realtors have fought the home tax before and we stand ready to fight it again,” she added.

GOP fringe out for Hagan

No big-name Republicans are ready to announce a challenge to Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, but it looks like a GOP primary will happen.

Dr. Greg Brannon, a Raleigh obstetrician and president of Founder’s Truth, announced his 2014 U.S. Senate bid at a tea party rally in January, according to The Daily Haymaker blog. (Brannon did not return a call for comment.)

And at least one more candidate is making his case on Facebook. Terry Embler formed a U.S. Senate 2014 campaign page in November. He is a Raleigh police detective who grew up in Pender County.

“I have decided that I can no longer simply sit back while politics as usual ruins our country,” Embler writes. “We have a Senate that hasn’t done their job in passing a budget in almost four years. Kay Hagan has not done her part as an elected official and instead has simply played her part in the political games that go on in Washington.”

McCrory’s men in DOT

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory named 10 men to the state Board of Transportation on Monday, including several developers and a former state Republican Party chairman.

The board has 19 members. It wasn’t clear whether McCrory intends to replace any of the nine members whose replacements were not named Monday. A spokesman said that these appointments were the only ones being announced now.

Division 1 (northeast): Malcolm Fearing of Manteo, president of Outer Banks Insurance Agency.

Division 3 (southeast): Michael Lee of Wilmington, a lawyer at Lee Law Firm.

Division 5 (Wake, Durham and five more Triangle-area counties): Michael Smith of Raleigh, president of Kane Realty, developer of North Hills.

Division 7 (Orange, Guilford and other Triad-area counties): Dwight Stone of Greensboro, president of D. Stone Builders.

Division 9 (Forsyth and other Triad and central Piedmont counties): Jake Alexander of Salisbury, sales director of Genan.

Division 11 (northwest): James Palermo of Boone, executive in residence at Johnson & Wales University.

Division 13 (west): David Brown of Asheville, owner of D.L.B. Properties.

At Large (environment): Ferrel Blount of Bethel, a farmer and president of Blount Companies, and former state Republican Party chairman.

At Large (ports and aviation): John Lennon of Wilmington, managing partner of Oceancrest Advisory Services.

At Large (government and finance): Edward Curran of Charlotte, president and CEO of The Bissell Companies.

Staff writers John Frank

and Bruce Siceloff

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