City Goverment, Community, News Release

National lobbying arm for Realtors pours big bucks into misleading campaign to defeat Hayward Measure T

October 15, 2018

HAYWARD, Calif., Oct. 15, 2018—A national lobbying organization for Realtors based in Chicago has spent at least $150,000 on a misleading advertising campaign to defeat local Hayward Measure T, campaign finance reports show.

The spending by the National Association of Realtors is unprecedented in Hayward and is also occurring in other Alameda County cities where similar local ballot measures will be decided in the Nov. 6 election.

“Hayward voters aren’t accustomed to being deluged with mailers and other advertising by out-of-town interests trying to influence our local elections,” City Manager Kelly McAdoo said.  “We think it is important for voters to know who is behind the activity.”

Measure T was placed on the ballot by the Hayward City Council to support the city general fund budget for public safety, fire protection, emergency medical response, libraries, pothole repair and other primary municipal services.

If passed by a majority votes cast in the Nov. 6 election, Measure T would increase the city Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT) that is collected once upon the purchase or sale of residential and commercial real estate in the City of Hayward.

Currently, the city RPTT rate in Hayward is $4.50 per $1,000 of property value—the lowest among Alameda County cities that have authority to set their own rates.  Measure T would increase the Hayward RPTT to $8.50 per $1,000 of property value—making it the second lowest among Alameda County cities that can set their own rates.

Measure T would not increase property taxes or increase the cost of living for Hayward residents.  The RPTT is collected once as part of transactional closing costs when ownership of residential or commercial property changes due to a purchase or sale—just like real estate commissions.

For example, the city RPTT on the purchase/sale of a $700,000 home is $3,150.  Measure T would increase the RPTT on the same $700,000 home by $2,800 to a total of $5,950.  By comparison, the standard six percent real estate commission charged by Realtors and their agencies on the sale of a $700,000 home is $42,000.

Payment of the RPTT is the joint responsibility of the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction—and can be a point of negotiation between buyer and seller.

Campaign mailers and door-hangers targeting Hayward voters and funded by the National Association of Realtors falsely, irresponsibly and hypocritically state that the City of Hayward is trying to “cash in on the housing crisis” through Measure T and would treat Measure T revenue as a “blank check.”

To learn the facts about Measure T, a fact sheet and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) are available on the City of Hayward website.

Additional questions and inquiries can be directed to Hayward Public Information Officer Chuck Finnie, who can be reached at (510) 583-4344 and at chuck.finnie@hayward-ca.gov.

Download the full News Release.