Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

January 24, 2006

Excise Tax Revenue

by @ 7:24 am. Filed under Statistics, Real Estate

Our theme of statistical analysis continues. Despite a 34% decrease in the number of documents recorded from 2003 to 2004 (158,000 down to 104,000), the number of deeds recorded in those two years stayed almost exactly the same (9,781 in 2003 and 9,686 in 2004). The transition from 2004 to 2005 was quite different, however, with the total number of documents decreasing by 9% (104,000 down to 94,500). The startling drop came in the number of deeds recorded. 2004’s 9,686 descended to 7,152 in 2005, a decrease of 26%. What was really bizarre, however, was that the amount of excise tax we collected during that period increased from $10,340,685 to $11,807,728, a 14% rise. Because the excise tax is based on the sales price of property ($2.28 per $500 of purchase price), you might assume that if the number of deeds decreased by 26%, the amount of excise tax collected would decrease proportionately. But the exact opposite occurred: excise tax collections rose. The only explanation I can imagine is that the price of homes being sold in 2005 rose considerably thereby yielding more tax on less sales.

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