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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • County official expresses opposition to fee elimination

  • While it's not clear what will happen during the upcoming state legislative session, a county official has expressed opposition to real estate agents regarding the elimination of a mortgage registration fee.
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  • While it's not clear what will happen during the upcoming state legislative session, a county official has expressed opposition to real estate agents regarding the elimination of a mortgage registration fee.
    County commissioners previously have discussed their opposition to the idea of getting rid of the fee. County officials say this could cost the county government about $1 million in revenue each year.
    And County Administrator Pat Hurley attended a regional meeting of Realtors Monday afternoon in Lenexa to express the opposition.
    Hurley said there is some indication the Kansas Association of Realtors may join the Kansas Bankers Association in a campaign to change the state law that established the fee.
    The fee is charged when a mortgage is filed with a county register of deeds. Hurley said the fee is 0.26 percent of the amount of the mortgage.
    Hurley said Monday's meeting was for a seven-county regional organization. He said the regional Realtors organization didn't take a position on the issue.
    "They mainly just listened and asked questions," he said.
    He said representatives of other counties including Johnson and Wyandotte counties attended the meeting.
    He said the county officials discussed the possible impact of losing the revenue from the registration fee.
    Hurley has said Leavenworth County either would have to cut services or raise the mill levy for property taxes by about 2 mills to make up for the lost revenue.
    He said a question was raised during the meeting regarding why real estates would push for getting rid of a fee that represents only a small amount of mortgage costs.
    "And none of them had an answer for that really," he said.
    Hurley said there seems to be a big head of steam behind the issue of eliminating the fee.
    "I don't know what will happen," he said.
    He said the loss of the fee would not directly affect cities because they don't receive money from the fee. But he said everyone in the county would be affected if property taxes are raised.

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