Local coalition backs passage of San Juan Countyordinance
Local housing activists are hailing the passage of a San Juan County ordinance meant to tackle the county’s growing affordable housing crisis.
The San Juan County Council unanimously approved an ordinance that authorizes the county to collect a one-half of one percent real estate excise tax, known as REET, on the sale of a property. Voters must also approve the initiative before it is finalized.
The initiative was crafted after years of work by elected officials, community leaders, and small businesses across the county. The measure is not a property tax, reflecting the coalition’s goal to avoid financial burden on homeowners with fixed incomes.
The move comes after years of booming property values in the county. The median home value in San Juan County is now approaching $600,000, a figure that has increased 8.2 percent over the past year, according to real estate analysts. With a tight rental market, local affordable housing experts are concerned about insufficient workforce housing. Populations are especially at-risk for displacement include service industry workers, health care providers, educators, and those on fixed incomes.
Now that the council has approved the ordinance, the next stop is the ballot. If approved by a majority of San Juan County voters, the measure will go toward maintaining and constructing housing for those with very low, low and moderate incomes.