If you have a fancy mansion in Santa Fe, NM, you might be asked to foot the bill subsidizing more affordable housing for local public servants like police officers and nurses.
If you have a fancy mansion in Santa Fe, NM, you might be asked to foot the bill subsidizing more affordable housing for local public servants like police officers and nurses. The Santa Fe City Council voted this week for a special election next Spring to decide on a one percent fee to be added to house sales that top $650,000. If that sounds like a lot, it's not an uncommon price tag for houses in the area, and it's keeping those who serve the community, from living there.
The mayor says, "More than half of our police force doesn't live in Santa Fe. They can't afford to buy a house in Santa Fe. The thinking is that it's a reasonable fee that helps us meet a very, very important goal in Santa Fe."
The funds raised would help workers make down payments or pay rent. Opponents worry that the extra tax on spendier homes would trickle down to all homeowners later making real estate even more expensive, not to mention that the plan won't generate the revenue the mayor thinks it will. A local realtor says, "We support affordable housing as well as a rich, diverse and sustainable economy."
Is this a great plan to have the wealthiest with the best living conditions directly help those with the opposite problem? Is this Robin Hood run amuck in real estate? Is it important to have local public servants live in the communities they serve?