Measure O Passes in Emeryville, Increasing RPTT on High-Value Home Sales
In November of 2022, Emeryville voted to pass Measure O, a bill that increases the current Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT) on home sales of a certain value within the city. For owners looking to sell their homes or investors considering property in Emeryville, this transfer tax is important to keep in mind. Let’s go more in depth into what an RPTT is and what exactly Measure O changed in Emeryville.
What is RPTT?
Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT) is a tax imposed on the transfer of ownership of real property. The tax is usually based on the value of the property being transferred and is typically paid by the buyer of the property. The amount of the tax varies depending on the jurisdiction and the value of the property being transferred. In some cases, exemptions or reductions may apply, such as for first-time homebuyers or transfers between family members. The purpose of the tax is to generate revenue for the government and, in some cases, to regulate the transfer of property ownership.
Typically, RPTT is determined on a state and city level. Even before Measure O, Emeryville had one of the highest RPTT rates in California. Buyers and sellers should be aware of the RPTT in their area when considering a property transaction.
What is Measure O?
The previous RPTT in Emeryville was 1.2% for all property transactions. Measure O increased this rate to 1.5% for property sales valued between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000. For property sales valued above $2,000,000, this rate increases even more to 2.5%. This modification to the tax rate is estimated to generate as much as $5 million for city services every single year.
Measure O also outlined key service areas that the additional revenue would be able to fund. These include:
- Environmental / clean water: Funding for storm drain maintenance and repairs in order to prevent flooding, protect the city against rising sea levels, and keep local water bodies free of pollution.
- Homelessness: Funding solutions that address homelessness levels in Emeryville.
- Public Safety: Maintaining 911 emergency response, police patrols, disaster preparedness, code enforcement, and boosting pedestrian safety.
- Public Works: Funding improvements to transportation options in the city, including biking, walking, and rolling; maintenance and enhancements for urban parks, playgrounds and forests.
- COVID-19 Response: Supporting economic recovery from COVID-19, including support for small businesses and attracting new businesses, economic activity, and jobs.