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Boston real estate tax would add surcharge to many deals of at least $2M

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Legislation also targets flippers—all in a bid to facilitate more units in housing-starved city

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The City Council on January 14 is expected to take up legislation that would tax up to 6 percent many commercial and residential real estate sales of at least $2 million and tax some properties sold twice within two years—a.k.a. flipping—as much as 25 percent.

Proponents say the changes would curb speculation in the Boston real estate market and would raise hundreds of millions of dollars annually for housing programs and efforts, per the Globe’s Milton J. Valencia and Tim Logan.

The city, of course, is in the midst of a major housing crunch, with a dearth in supply exacerbating already high prices. But it is unclear if taxing new homebuyers and commercial real estate investors that much more would drive enough new development or provide enough subsidies to dent the crunch.

It is also unclear if the legislation will make it much further than the council chambers. Mayor Marty Walsh has his own housing agenda. And the council idea would have to win approval from the state Legislature too. A similar tax on certain home trades from Somerville failed on Beacon Hill last year. Stay tuned.